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First Tarpan Foals Born in the Eastern Rhodopes

The tarpan reintroduction in the Eastern Rhodopes is right on schedule. In September 2011, 12 tarpans from Holland found a new home in the fields near the abandoned village of Sbor, Municipality of Krumovgrad. Recently two foals were born, a male and a female, which symbolizes the success of the reintroduction.  According to Hristo Hristov, wildlife coordinator of the New Thracian Gold project, the young ones feel very good, sleep on the sunny slopes of the Sbor hills, play and grow well. The project team expects two more foals mid-May.

The new Bulgarian  tarpan population consists of two herds which live separately. After their arrival from the Netherlands the tarpans were held in an enclosure to adapt to the local conditions. Currently, the fenced area is about 26 ha. In late April, the enclosed area will be enlarged by another 10 ha. The ultimate release to the wild nature will most probably be implemented next year.

The first new born tarpans don't have names yet. The NTG-team will do so at an official  ceremony on April 27 during the Tarpan days (27, 28 and 29 April 2012). This event will be the first ever Tarpan days organized by the New Thracian Gold jointly with the Municipality Krumovgrad and the Bulgarian Society for Protection of Birds (BSPB).

Locals, tourists and all who are interested in wildlife will have the opportunity to see the tarpans from close range. NTG experts and young eco volunteers will explain the tarpan reintroduction and tell about the perspectives of the rewilding project.

During the Tarpan days, guests and tourists can see an exhibition of rare local breeds – Shorthorn Rhodopi Cattle, Bulgarian Grey Cattle, Karakachan sheep and dogs. Volunteers can participate in the renovation and extension works of the enclosure. There is also a drawing competition for children, a workshop for souvenir making from natural materials, a tree planting ceremony, and the making and installing of birdhouses. On the outdoor stage, elements from the performance "Zelenodivo" (Greenwild) of Theatre of Sofia University Alma Alter will be shown. This show  is based on the novel "Tarpans". The audience will have the opportunity for a discussion with the author Dimitar Atanasov, director of the show Nikolay Gueorguiev and several of the actors. The BSPB team will present its bird protection activities in the region and the LIFE + project  “The return of the Neophron”.  Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in bird-watching. During the Tarpan days tourists and guests can taste local and organic food from Eastern Rhodopes producers and experience authentic local folklore.

See here the detailed program of the Tarpan days

See photos of the young tarpans in Gallery

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