A Great Bustard in Dobrudzha and record numbers of geese in Svishtosko-Belene lowland

We have completed the monitoring of wintering geese for 2019 counting a record number of Great White-Fronted Geese in the Svishtov-Belene Lowland. On December 28, early in the morning a BSPB team made a census in the area and registered there 75,000 Great White-Fronted Geese and 120 Red-Breasted Geese. So far, the maximum number counted has been 59,000 Great White-Fronted Geese. All geese have come from Romania, where they traditionally spend the night in Lake Suhaia. They cross the river daily and arrive at their food habitats in Bulgaria.

In the wetlands along the Black Sea coast (both in the region of Shabla-Durankulak and in Burgas) the monitoring teams found almost no geese. This is mainly due to the soft weather, not only in Bulgaria, but also in Ukraine and Romania, where the birds are coming from. During the monitoring of the wintering geese 2 weeks earlier (14-15.12.2019), 14,000 Red-breasted geese were identified – 13000 in Romania, nearly 1000 in Ukraine and only 40 in Bulgaria.

Although there were not many geese in Dobrudzha, the teams were lucky to observe and photograph the extremely rare species of Great Bustard in Bulgaria. In the past years, the species has been registered in the area of ​​the Durankulak Lake Protected Area – most recently in 2015.

The monitoring was organized and carried out within the framework of project LIFE16 NAT/BG/ 000847 “Life for Safe Flight” which aim is the conservation of the Red-breasted Goose along its flyway, as well as carrying out the activities provided for in the Action Plan for the Conservation of the Red-Breasted Goose in Bulgaria.