Three new artificial nests in Bulgaria to protect European Green Belt biodiversity

In March 2024, Green Balkans – one of the oldest non-governmental organisation in Bulgaria dedicated to conserving natural habitats and a partner of LifeWatch Bulgaria, the national node of LifeWatch ERIC – installed three artificial nests for the Imperial Eagle within the European Green Belt. This ecological corridor is crucial for protecting biodiversity and stretches from the Baltic shores to the Black and Ionian Seas, passing through the central areas of Germany. Running along the historic Iron Curtain, which once split Europe into East and West, the European Green Belt is a natural sanctuary where wildlife has thrived amidst the remnants of decades-long political tensions.

Green Balkans staff and volunteers worked with teams from the Black Vulture Nest Foundation, Tonido91, the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna and the Sakar Nature Park Society. By the end of March, this collaborative effort had built the three nests. Watch this video to see the process of identifying suitable areas and constructing these artificial nests:

In the two decades since Green Balkans installed its first artificial nest, the technique has successfully promoted the settlement and reproduction of the Imperial Eagle. There are currently around 40 nesting pairs in Bulgaria, 15 of which use the artificial nests provided by Green Balkans and its partners Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds. This nesting practice has benefited not only the Imperial Eagle but also several other species of birds of prey, thus contributing to bird conservation in general. In addition to Green Balkans, the Turkish organisation Back to Nature and the German foundation EuroNatur contributed to installing artificial nests.

This activity is part of the EU-funded BESTbelt project, which supports conservation and sustainable development initiatives and provides education and management training to conserve the biodiversity of Europe’s Green Belt. For further details about Green Balkans and this project, please visit this page: https://lesserkestrellife.greenbalkans.org/Building-a-nest-for-a-golden-eagle–or-how-to-create-a-new-home-for-majestic-birds–3-8459.

Cover photo belongs to Gradimir Gradev / GREEN BALKANS

Bulgaria

The Bulgarian National Distributed Centre is represented by the  Agricultural University-Plovdiv.

To know more about how Bulgaria contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Spain

The Spanish National Distributed Centre is supported by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Guadalquivir River Basin Authority (Ministry for Ecological Transition-MITECO). Moreover, Spain is the hosting Member State of LifeWatch ERIC, the location of its Statutory Seat & ICT e-Infrastructure Technical Office (LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities). 

To know more about how Spain contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Slovenia

The Slovenian National Distributed Centre is led by the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU). It focuses on the development of technological solutions in the field of biodiversity and socio-ecosystem research.

To know more about how Slovenia contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Portugal

The Portuguese National Distributed Centre is managed by PORBIOTA, the Portuguese e-Infrastructure for Information and Research on Biodiversity. Led by BIOPOLIS/CIBIO-InBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, PORBIOTA connects the principal Portuguese research institutions working in biodiversity.

To know more about how Portugal contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Netherlands

The Dutch National Distributed Centre is hosted by the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. Moreover, The Netherlands hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Virtual Laboratory and Innovation Centre.

To know more about how The Netherlands contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Italy

The Italian National Distributed Centre is led and managed by the Italian National Research Council (CNR) and is coordinated by a Joint Research Unit, currently comprising 35 members. Moreover, Italy hosts one of the LifeWatch ERIC Common Facilities, the Service Centre.

To know more about how Italy contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Greece

The Greek National Distributed Centre is funded by the Greek General Secretariat of Research and Technology and is coordinated by the Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, in conjunction with 47 associated partner institutions.

To know more about how Greece contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.

Belgium

The Belgian National Distributed Centre makes varied and complementary in-kind contributions to LifeWatch ERIC. These are implemented in the form of long-lasting projects by various research centres and universities distributed throughout the country and supported by each respective political authority.

To know more about how Belgium contributes to LifeWatch ERIC, please visit our dedicated webpage.