By: Jessica Ramos
July 28, 2016
During this time of global bird population decline, the European Commission argues that Bulgaria has failed to protect endangered bird species. The country’s lack of action has prompted the Commission to take Bulgarian officials to court.
Bulgaria’s Bird Problem
According to a press release, the Commission alleges that Bulgaria isn’t doing enough to protect endangered birds and their habitats in the country’s unique Rila Mountains.
Rila is a southwestern mountain range, and it represents the highest range in Bulgaria and the Balkans. The mountain range is home to many endemic species of flora and fauna. There are 24 species from Rila that have made it into the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which isn’t exactly something to be proud of.
What we’re learning from the Commission is that many of these species are birds — 17 endangered bird species and 20 vulnerable bird species to be exact. In an ideal scenario, Bulgarian officials would have widened the special protection zone.
To its credit, Bulgarian officials have deemed 72 percent of the zone as a special protection area. But the problem, according to the press release, is that the specially protected area has failed to cover critical portions of the habitats of 17 endangered bird species listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive.