Results of the consecutive inspection of the joint patrols and the regular monitoring of the wintering birds

© Аlan Harris/flickr.com, Great Bustard

In the week before Christmas was held a consecutive inspection of the BSPB team and the local institutions responsible for the implementation of the hunting and conservation legislation in the area of Shabla Lake Complex and Durankulak Lake.

In Orlovo blato (Eagles' Swamp), part of the special protected area "Durankulak Lake", representatives of the Regional Inspectorate of the Environment and Water – Varna drew 7 poachers’ nets with a total length of about 600 m from the lake. Representatives of the Executive agency for fisheries and aquaculture - Dobrich found another 5 nets in the lake with a total length of about 700 m. Two Arctic divers had caught in one of them. Fortunately the birds were alive so they were set free. This is an example of the danger posed by the illegal fishing nets for all diving birds, among which are globally threatened species such as the White-headed Duck and the rare species Ferruginous Duck and Pygmy Cormorant. They seek their food by diving and poachers’ nets are mortal danger to them. Moreover, the entry of poachers in the lakes during the dark part of the day in the winter period leads to disturbance of roosting Red-breasted Geese - another globally endangered species.

Representatives of the Regional Forestry Directorate – Varna, have joined to the patrols in the past hunting days. Due to the relatively high temperatures for the season, the number of the geese in the area was a record low for the recent years, and thus the number of hunters. Fortunately violations of hunting and conservation legislation were not found.

On Saturday (20.12.2014), was held the regular monitoring of Red-breasted Geese and other waterfowl wintering in the lakes. Fifty Red-breasted Geese, 200 Greater White-fronted Geese and 26 Greylag Geese were observed. In Durankulak Lake were observed 3 White-headed Ducks and two Smews. In Shabla Lake was observed a young Greater Spotted Eagle, light phase fulvescens.

The most interesting observation was of a Great Bustard, flying over the Village of Krapets. In the winter of 2012 in the same place a Great Bustard was found shot to death by poachers. The Great Bustard is particularly rare winter visitor in Bulgaria and globally threatened species and the possibility the observed species to follow this unenviable fate is significant. The hunters in the area of the lakes are alerted and we hope that this bird will have a better fate.



© Daniel Mitev, Greater Spotted Eagle