Balkani Wildlife Society


Species conservation


Balkani Wildlife Society is monitoring 13 mammel species in Bulgaria.This includes the following: red squirrel, European souslik, European and Dobrudja hamster, lesser mole rat, wolf, jackel, steppe and marbled polecat, pine marten, otter, wildcat and red deer.


Balkani Wildlife Society has been working on this topic since 1993, when the Society started collecting information on the wolf (Canis lupus) population status and the problems related to the wolf - human coexistence. 

At the end of 1996 a National Wolf Workshop was organized, on which an Action Plan for Wolf Study and Conservation in Bulgaria was adopted. 
In the beginning of 1997 the Wolf Study and Conservation Program started operating.

Brown Bear

Balkani Wildlife Society is working for study and conservation of Large carnivores in the country. These species are indicators for preserved habitats suitable for other species existence. The program for study and conservation of the Wolf in Bulgaria as well as the planned programs for the other 2 species – Brown bear and Lynx are aiming at conservation of their populations and habitats in peaceful cohabitation with people in the country.


Information on this species in Bulgaria is very scarce. Lynx existence in Bulgaria has been registered for the first time in 1862. It is thought to be completely extinct in 1941.

Balkan chamois

Balkan chamois is a listed in Annexes II of Directive 92/43 of EU and Annex III of Bern Convention. Balkan chamois is included in Bulgarian Red Data Book as endangered species.


Two tortoise species are naturally spread on Bulgarian territory - the Spur-thighed Tortoise (Testudo graeca) and Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanni). According to Bulgarian legislation they are protected under Biodiversity Conservation Act and the Penal Code of Bulgarian Republic. Both species are globally threatened and listed in Red List of International Union for Nature Conservation (IUCN-2004). Tortoises are protected under international conventions as well: Bern Convention, Convention on International trade with endangered wild flora and fauna species (CITES); Habitat Directive 92/43 of the European Union (1992).

Water-connected birds in the Sofia area

Since 1989 a team of over 30 persons, who are graduates of the School of ornithology and nature conservation at the Bulgarian Ornithological Centre, and the most active ones of them are recent members of Balkani Wildlife Society, started a research on the dynamics of the avifauna of the wetlands along the Iskar, Blato and Lesnovska Rivers and their tributaries. 
Since 1994 the numerical counts were performed every month simultaneously (without summer) at all wetlands around Sofia - the dam lakes Iskar, Mramor, Bezden, Kremikovtsi deposit basin, the quarry and the fish-ponds of Chelopechene and Petarch and the swamps by Dragoman, Mousachevo and Ravno Pole, which hold a greater part of the waterfowl.

Tengalms owl

The Tengmalm`s Owl (Aegolius funereus) in Bulgaria is protected by the Biodiversity Act (2002) and is included in the national Red Data Book (1985) as "rare species". The species is also under protection of the international legislation - it is listed in Annex 2 of the Convention for protection of the wild European flora and fauna and nature habitats (Bern Convention) and in Annex 2 of the Convention for illegal trade with endangered species (CITES); both conventions were ratified by Bulgaria in the early 1990s.

Egret colonies

In spring and summer 2006 entire monitoring of all egret and cormorant colonies known on the Bulgarian territory was conducted. It was supported by Balkani Wildlife Society and WWF Danube-Carpathian programme. 24 Bulgarian colonies and 3 located on the Romanian islands in the Danube River were included. It was the first complete study in Bulgaria of all nesting egrets, cormorants, ibises and spoonbills within one breeding season.


The Pigmy Cormorant is protected species under the European and Bulgarian legislations. Devastatation of its natural habitats and hunting have lead to its extinction in several important territories.The species is extremely vulnerable not only during the nesting season but in winter as well, when thousands of cormorantsa are roosting at the same place - usually in reed beds or in isolated islands. This behavior protects the juveniles from their natural enemies but not from man. Balkani started a project in 2005-2006 sponsored by Rufford Small Grant aiming at raising public awareness and voluntary guarding of the most numerous roost. It is located in one island along the Maritza River not far from Plovdiv.