Bulgaria’s Ministry of Environment and Water recently approved the country’s National Action Plan to combat the illicit use of poisons in the wild. Two LIFE projects helped the Plan come to fruition.
As birds are often the victims of poisoning, it is fitting that the Action Plan was developed by the Bulgarian Society for the protection of Birds (BSPB) in close collaboration with the LIFE RE-Vultures and Egyptian Vulture New LIFE projects.
The Plan will help coordinate state institutions, NGOs and other stakeholders so that they can systematically deal with the harmful impact poisons have on biodiversity.
It has five objectives and 39 activities that aim to address, or at least minimise, the problem. These include:
- Reducing human-carnivore conflict by using alternatives to poisons.
- Eradicating outdated stocks of plant protection products.
- More anti-poison canine teams.
- Better training for personnel and more equipment, including the upgrade of a specialist toxicological laboratory.
- Legal amendments to criminalise both the use of poison bait and the import, sale and distribution of plant protection products.
In addition, a protocol to help relevant institutions take appropriate action has been developed. Guidelines will also be provided.
‘Using poisonous baits in the wild poses a serious threat to many protected and endangered animal species. This Plan is a vital tool for combating one of the biggest threats to biodiversity in Bulgaria and beyond,’ said Stoycho Stoychev, Conservation Director of BSPB.
The LIFE programme has invested more than €70 million in around 50 LIFE projects targeting illegal activities connected to wildlife. Most of the projects have focused on preventing the poisoning of protected bird species such as raptors and vultures, but large carnivores are also included.
Image: LIFE16 NAT/BG/000874/Mathias Putze. All rights reserved. Licensed to the European Union under conditions.
- 29 September 2021