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In Pictures 18 Aug 17

In Pictures: Wildlife Snapped in Bulgaria’s Rhodopes Mountains

Cameras installed by Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation in the remote mountain range are helping document wildlife activity in one of Europe’s richest environmental habitats.

Mariya Cheresheva

The Eastern Rhodopes mountain, in southeastern Bulgaria, is a home to no less than 4,000 animal species and is one of the richest biodiversity hot-spot  in the whole of Europe.

Thanks to its location on the crossroads between Europe and Asia and its scarce human population, the mountain range is a favourite spot for many bird species, including rare vultures. 

The area has great significance for the conservation of numerous rare and endangered species, which makes it a popular bird watching destination.

Environmental organizations have dedicated years of efforts to protecting the unique wildlife of the Eastern Rhodopes and to bringing back some of the animals and plants that used to inhabit the area but became extinct over past decades.

Rewilding Rhodopes, a joint effort of a coalition of NGOs as a part of the pan-European initiative, Rewilding Europe, has already successfully reintroduced to the East Rhodopes a number of big herbivores such as red deer, european bison and wild horses.

Other rare inhabitants of the Eastern Rhodopes include the Egyptian vulture, griffon vulture and black vulture.

Photo traps, installed in the animals’ natural habitat by Rewilding Rhodopes Foundation , help document the little known moments of wildlife in the Eastern Rhodopes.

Rewilding Rhodopes offers animal lovers a unique selection of animal “selfies”, captured by over 30 hidden cameras.

The technology not only makes it possible for everyone to get a look into the private life of some of Europe’s wildest species, but also provides scientists and environmentalists with important information for their natural conservation efforts.

At the same time, state authorities use photo traps in their fight against poachers. 

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