Safe Ground Redbreasts - Conservation of the wintering population of the globally threatened red-breasted goose (branta ruficollis) in Bulgaria

LIFE09 NAT/BG/000230

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Nikolay PETKOV
Tel: + 359 8 79822310
Fax: +359 2 9799 501
Email: nicky.petkov@bspb.org

Project description:


An important part of BSPB’s work is dedicated to conserving globally threatened species such as the red-breasted goose (Branta ruficollis). The BSPB has monitored the red-breasted goose for 17 consecutive years, constituting the most continuous monitoring of any key species in Bulgaria. The BSPD was also one of the organisations that initiated the first international red-breasted goose monitoring scheme, providing valuable knowledge and experience.

As well as monitoring activities, the BSPB also strives to preserve the habitats and favourable ecological conditions for the survival of the goose, through direct conservation measures and by encouraging sustainable development.

North eastern Bulgaria is one the most important wintering areas for the red-breasted goose. In some winters, up to 80% of the global population winters there.


The Safe Ground Redbreasts project aims to introduce land-management measures in the Dobrudzha region of northern Bulgaria to provide secure foraging grounds for the red-breasted goose. The project aims to stabilise the population of this, the most threatened goose species in the world, in its wintering grounds.

The main activity of the project will be the creation of a land-management scheme to ensure the protection of foraging areas for the red-breasted goose. The strategic planning framework will be strengthened to minimise the detrimental effect of economic development and human activity in the project area.

The project will develop a long-term public-private partnership between conservation NGOs and one of the largest land-management companies in coastal Dobrudzha. It will work to engage stakeholders in reducing disturbance to the sites, developing sustainable land-management models and in developing pride in the conservation of the red-breasted goose and the Natura 2000 sites that they depend on.

Through these actions, the project hopes to stabilise the population during the life of the project and to contribute to increasing numbers in the longer term. This should help to improve the global conservation status of the goose, given the importance of these wintering sites to the whole population.

Expected results:

  • Land-management scheme to favour the red-breasted goose;
  • Long-term public-private land-management partnership;
  • Stabilisation of the population of the species during the project’s lifetime;
  • Improved global conservation status of the goose in the long term.



Environmental issues addressed:


Species - Birds


endangered species‚  biodiversity

Target EU Legislation

  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • Directive 79/409 - Conservation of wild birds (02.04.1979)
  • Directive 2009/147 - Conservation of wild birds - Birds Directive (codified version of Directive ...
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...

Target species

 Branta ruficollis     

Target Habitat types

  • 62C0 - Ponto-Sarmatic steppes

Natura 2000 sites

SCI BG0000241 Srebarna
SPA BG0000156 Shablenski ezeren kompleks
SPA BG0002050 Durankulashko ezero
SPA BG0002051 Kaliakra



Coordinator Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) is the Bulgarian partner of BirdLife International.
Partners Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, Bulgaria Royal Society for Protection of Birds, United Kingdom Kirilovi Ltd., Bulgaria Hunting Association in Shabla, Bulgaria


Project reference LIFE09 NAT/BG/000230
Duration 01-SEP-2010 to 31-MAY -2015
Total budget 2,656,608.00 €
EU contribution 1,990,635.00 €
Project location Associated Bulgaria (BG)(Bulgaria Balgarija)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version