23rd May 2014
2014 Whitley Award winner, Stoycho Stoychev, last night received further recognition for his work as he and his team at the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) became the recipient of an inaugural Natura 2000 Conservation Award in recognition of their commitment to saving the Imperial eagle in Bulgaria. By working closely with energy companies to insulate dangerous power lines and bury overhead cables, Stoycho and his team have successfully reduced the risk of electrocution for this threatened bird of prey, a major cause of mortality. Thanks to the dedication of Stoycho and his team, the Country’s population of Imperial Eagles has doubled over the past decade to 26 pairs.
This is the first year of the Natura 2000 Awards which were announced at a ceremony in Brussels last night, with the winners receiving trophies from the European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik. This new Award aims to promote best practice for nature conservation in Europe and showcase the success of the Natura 2000 network to the public.
Natura 2000 is a network of over 27,000 protected sites that covers 18% of the EU landmass and 4% of marine areas, protecting and enhancing Europe’s natural heritage. It works to ensure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats.