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Vulture killed by illegal wind farm  

Credit:  Croatian Times, www.croatiantimes.com 1 November 2010 ~~

Conservation workers in Bulgaria this week recovered the body of a rare Griffin Vulture from a contested wind farm park.

There has been an explosion in the number of wind farms being built in Bulgaria and the St Nikolas park where the vulture was killed is located along the Black Sea coast in the western part of the Kaliakra Important Bird Area (IBA).

The park run by AES Geo Energy is in the focus of two EC infringement procedures for failing to properly protect or care for local birdlife.

The numbers of the birds, that have a wingspan of up to 110 inches and weigh up to 13 kilos, has been radically reduced across Europe by poisoning, shooting and habitat loss coupled with new laws on the disposal of dead farm animals.

But the number of breeding pairs of Griffin Vultures increased from 13 in 1990 to 47 in 2010 in Bulgaria thanks to two decades of painstaking conservation work.

The dead vulture found at the St Nikolas wind park had had one of its wings severed and been thrown 90m from the turbine according to a team from the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water (RIEW) and representatives of the Bulgarian Society for the protection of Birds (BSPB).

A great number of fatal incidents with Griffon vulture are registered in Spain and Greece. This is the first case recorded in Bulgaria.

Source:  Croatian Times, www.croatiantimes.com 1 November 2010

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