An anti-poison unit with a specially trained dog joins the poison detection efforts in Kresna, Bulgaria03.04.2017
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- An anti-poison unit with a specially trained dog joins the poison detection efforts in Kresna, Bulgaria
The search for poison and poisoned baits in Kresna Gorge has been reinforced by the presence of an anti-poison unit, the only one of its kind in Bulgaria. Bars, a specially trained dog, and his handler Nikolai Terziev from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB), who participate in the vulture conservation work in the Rhodope Mountains, arrived in the area of Kresna. This is where over the last two weeks, there have been a large number of documented incidents of illegal use of poison which, in practice, has led to the extermination of almost the entire griffon vulture colony.
The poison detection unit was involved in the combined efforts of the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna, Green Balkans and volunteers, to locate potential poisoned baits. Their goal is to help rescue the last surviving individuals of the vulture colony and prevent a greater harm to wild or domestic animals.
Within the last two weeks a total of 8 griffon vultures, and several other animals (wolves, foxes and other raptors), have been found dead in Kresna Gorge (Bulgaria), illegally poisoned. The griffon vultures found dead constitute the bulk of the local breeding population, so their offspring have also probably perished. Unfortunately, the number of poisoned griffons may be even higher, and may surpass 15-20, as before the first dead birds were found there were about 40 griffons in the area, while now there are only 5 to 10.
Last summer, Nikolay Terziev from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) witin the LIFE project “Conservation of black and griffon vultures in the cross-border Rhodope mountains” spent nearly two months in Hungary where he was trained as dog handler for the first Antipoison Dog Unit in Bulgaria. The main objective of the Unit is to create poison-free areas by controlling and removing poisoned baits before they can cause damage.