ProjectSecuring the recovery of the Endangered Saker Falcon in Bulgaria and Southern Romania

Basic data

Securing the recovery of the Endangered Saker Falcon in Bulgaria and Southern Romania
01/10/2021 to 31/12/2026
Abstract / short description:
The Saker Falcon (Falco cherrug) is an endangered raptor in Europe. The general objective of this project is to boost population recovery by reducing the impact of the main threats combined with external efforts of an ongoing restocking project in Bulgaria that has proven to be successful already ( asia/news/saker-successbulgaria). Three subsequent years of successful breeding of a pair originating from reintroduced falcons, and observations of additional birds indicates that the conditions have improved to bring back Saker falcon from the brink of extinction, thereby connecting the Central European and south Romania populations with the small population in Asia Minor.

The re-establishment of the species will be supported by improving the quality of the nesting habitat
by building safe nesting platforms and boosting foraging resources. The improvement of the habitats
will also facilitate the recolonization by Saker falcons from Hungary, which disperse regularly to Bulgaria and Romania. This project’s strategy builds on four pillars that will result in tangible
improvement of the conservation of the species by:
1. Reducing the anthropogenic threats such as electrocution and persecution facing Saker falcons in both breeding areas and in the potential areas of natural recolonization, thus enhancing the potential for both natural recolonization and the restocking program.
2. Creating conditions that will facilitate an increase in the population sizes of the preferred key prey species of the Saker falcon, by implementing restocking and reintroduction of hamsters, souslik and wild pigeons.
3. Ensuring long-term protection and proper restoration and management of key grassland habitats by purchasing 100 ha of land by the coordinating beneficiary.
4. Improving the quality of the breeding habitats.
5. Substantially increase the awareness, understanding and capacity for support by key stakeholder groups.

The project actions will take place in 23 SPAs in Bulgaria and 5 SPAs in Romania, thus covering a
significant part of the Natura 2000 network designated for the species in Bulgaria and Southern
nature conservation
population genetics

Involved staff


Institute of Evolution and Ecology
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science

Local organizational units

Institute of Evolution and Ecology
Department of Biology
Faculty of Science

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