Balkani Wildlife Society



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. Project activities icluded:

  1. Publishing education leaflets and their distribution among local people.
  2. Guarding the roosts and parts of Maritza River before and after the roosting
  3. Montoring the dynamics of the Cormorants wintering numbers in that part of the Upper Tracian valley and other ornithological studies
  4. Afforestation activities on islands in Maritza River between Plovdiv and Pazardzhik.
  5. Organising lessons with environmental thematic in the villages around Pazardzhik

All conservation activities were coordinated and supported by Green Balkans and the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds