The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) was founded in 1988 and is the first and largest non-governmental environmental organization in Bulgaria. BSPB is part of BirdLife International, the world's leading bird research and conservation organization, founded in 1922, a network of partner organizations in more than 100 countries with more than 2.7 million members and more than 10 million supporters.
BSPB is working on the conservation of wild birds, their important sites and habitats, as well as on biodiversity in general. BSPB protects the right of existence of the wild, thus contributing to a sustainable use of natural resources and the welfare of mankind. The organization works also for the people, defending the public interest and everybody’s right to a preserved nature and a healthy environment.
BSPB manages two nature conservation centers - "Eastern Rhodopes", which is located in the town of Madzharovo, and Nature Conservation Center "Poda" near Burgas.
BSPB is one of the few non-governmental organizations with real membership and structures in the country. Membership is voluntary and brings together people of all ages and with different interests, but united by their love of nature, wild birds and the desire for a better life.
In 2011, Elektrorazpredelenie Yug and BSPB signed a Memorandum of Cooperation aimed at ensuring the conservation of protected bird species in Southeast Bulgaria. Within the framework of the bilateral cooperation, Elektrorazpredelenie Yug provided assistance to BSPB on a number of projects.
Project “Conservation of Imperial Eagle and Saker Falcon in key Natura 2000 sites in Bulgaria” (2009 – 2013).
The project is funded under the LIFE+ Programme of the European Commission. The project secured 595 electric pylons or 49 km of the electricity distribution grid, which completely eliminated the mortality rate caused by electrocution in the nesting areas of seven pairs of imperial eagles.
Project "LIFE for the Burgas lakes" (2010 – 2013).
The project is funded under the LIFE+ Programme of the European Commission. As part of the project, for the first time, Elektrorazpredelenie Yug installed 760 diverters on risky electric lines in the region of Burgas lakes.
The diverters aim to increase the probability that the facilities of the electricity distribution grid will be noticed earlier by the birds and, accordingly, avoided by them. Within the project, in 2012, Elektrorazpredelenie Yug installed 60 isolations with 120 extensions on 20 pylons in the area of Atanasovsko Lake.
Project “LIFE for safe grid“ (2013 – 2018)
The project was implemented in the period 2013 - 2018 by Elektrorazpredelenie Yug and BSPB. It is financed by LIFE Programme of the European Commission and aims to reduce the mortality rate of the Imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca) caused by contact with the electric lines.
The value of the project is EUR 4 million as part of the funds are provided by the European Commission and the remainder - by Elektrorazpredelenie Yug.
The project was realized in 8 specially protected areas of NATURA 2000 - in the areas of Sakar (municipalities of Elhovo, Topolovgrad, Bolyarovo), Yambol, Sliven and Harmanli. The technical measures realized by Elektrorazpredelenie Yug provide on the one hand greater safety for the imperial eagle, and on the other hand - increase the continuity of power supply.
The accomplished activities contributed to the increase of the population of the imperial eagle. In 2021, the number of endangered eagle pairs increased to 41. Activities included:
- Underground cable installation: a total of 43 km of new underground cables were installed, which replaced 70 km of overhead lines which are dangerous for the birds.
- 42 km of PAS system was installed (fully insulated conductors) on overhead lines. PAS system is one of the most modern methods for securing the electric lines.
- Installation of protective insulations on 2,340 electric pylons.
- 16 new transformer stations and one new switching station.
- Installed 10 bird rests which are at a specific height from the wires and allow the birds to land safely.