Frequently asked questions
We have always known that for many what we do seems odd. They cannot comprehend why we do it, and of what use are all the efforts we put into defending our cause. In this section we have included some of the most frequently asked questions regarding vultures and nature as a whole. You will find an answer under each question.
1. What is the main motivation of the nature conservation movement?
Our main motivation is the protection of nature’s diversity, and the preservation of the natural appearance of our true home – planet Earth. Every living thing, together with every natural habitat on the planet, has its right of existence. Mankind has the power to destroy life and the environment; the question is have we got the right to do it?
2. Are there any practical benefits for mankind deriving from the vultures? Why do you protect the vultures in particular?
As an answer we give an example from India. It is the country with the highest concentration of vultures. However, in the last 15 years the birds started dying out due to the introduction of a new medical product – diclofenac, – and its derivates. As a result a rapid increase in the numbers of stray dogs took place, together with an epidemic of the parasitic diseases they spread. The state had to start looking for expensive solutions of the problem. The vultures served as a free air cleaning service for all organic waste and thus helped limit the food sources for many land carnivores and – subsequently – their uncontrolled reproduction.
3. Are vultures valuable from the scientific point of view?
Science is often inspired by the diversity of life on Earth and by the abilities and adaptations creatures have developed to survive. Every year explorers of the jungle discover new substances with amazing therapeutic qualities; some snail species are being researched for tissue cell regeneration; sharks do not suffer from cancer; some amphibians are literally “revived” after having spent time in below zero conditions. Vultures are also unique – in their evolution they developed amazing features to neutralize the negative effect of obnoxious bacteria and other pathogens that they swallow with their food. There is no other animal with such a high acidity in its stomach. We cannot actually appreciate how “valuable” a certain species is before we face a problem whose solution is hidden in a particular species. And science could not look for this solution if the species is extinct.
4. What role do vultures play in maintaining nature’s ecological balance?
Every living thing has its role in keeping nature’s balance. Often the loss of even one species can disturb the delicate natural network. The consequences can sometimes remain hidden for a long time, which makes it even harder for us to appreciate the importance and responsibility for our actions in the present moment. Vultures serve as a natural regulator of diseases and epidemics. If they were to die out in Africa, for example, their extinction would lead to disastrous consequences for the human population, the livestock and the wildlife there alike.
5. Is there any economical dimension of the vultures for the local communities?
When a certain resource is distributed over a limited area in limited numbers, its value inevitably rises. Today people talk about gold and oil as the economic factors that stabilize our future and they often forget about biodiversity. Biodiversity is the natural heritage for all humans. It is not the property of companies and corporations (this is what most nature conservation organizations fight against). So protecting every single endangered species is in fact preserving our national wealth for the average people. In an exhausted environment eagles, wolves and vultures can turn out to be important touristic objects and bring income for the local population. If you find this hard to believe, visit the town of Madzharovo and see for yourself.
6. What can I do to support this cause?
In general it is enough to conform your actions to the needs of nature and wildlife – thus you are already contributing to its preservation.
7. And what if I wish to contribute more?
Well, then you can do one of the following (or all of them!):
- Support actively the nature conservation organizations in their efforts to preserve biodiversity, the good health and the livelihood of local people.
- Inform yourself about the NGO sector – not all organizations with “eco”, “bio” or “nature” in their name necessarily work for the protection of wildlife. Some are fake organizations driven only by economical interest.
- Become the messengers of pro-ecological thinking among your circle of family and friends: introduce and defend the ideas of nature conservation, explain about biodiversity and about the right of existence of all species, which inevitably goes together with a clean, healthy environment for people too.
- Stay active and be informed. Do not underestimate the power of a civil society.
- Travel! Get to know better the unique nature of Bulgaria together with its entire biodiversity.
- Support local producers, especially if their produce is ecological.
- Become a member and a volunteer in an NGO organization and find the best way to contribute to our efforts according to your background and skills.
- Never forget that every human action has its consequences!
- If you can afford it, make a donation for educational and practical conservation activities – work with children in the local communities, Egyptian Vulture nests guards, feeding etc.
- Support ecological agriculture and extensive pasturing of livestock. These mean high quality produce, a healthier environment for all, livelihood for the local communities and many benefits for wildlife and the environment (in comparison with the planned mono culture agriculture).