C1 Establishing of a model extensive livestock farm in Kresna Gorge

Expected results:

A herd of 50 livestock units representing Karakachan sheep, Bulgarian Long-hair Goat and Karakacahn Horse, housed in traditionally build barn and guarded by traditional Karakachan dogs, will be established and used to promote traditional and nature friendly practices to the local farmers in Kresna Gorge. 

By the end of the project the herd should be self-sustaining with around 80 livestock units, generating sufficient income to meet both shepherd's salary and herd running costs. 

About 200 farmers from the region will be introduced on site to the traditional and nature friendly livestock practices.

About 200 hectares will be optimally grazed and kept in optimal condition to the benefit of threatened species requiring such habitat.

The achieved results so far:

A herd of 102 sheep and 33 goats (about 20 livestock units) was purchased by the project. Now the herd consists 110 sheep and 8 goats (18 units). It plays a main source for the Compensation Program of FWFF C4

A herd of 30  Short-Horn Rodopean and Bulgarian Grey calves was established (30 livestock units). Now the herd has 39 animals. 

12 Fallow Deers were purchased (2 livestock units). Now there are 11 animals. 

In total 52 livestock units in two farms have been established in the villages of Rakitna and Mechkul. In the middle of 2014 the total livestock units are 59.

26 puppies produced in the farms. 

First farm in the village of Rakitna was renovated- seasonal pen and a hut for sheep and goat, where FWFF cooperate two more farmers thus concentrates 63 extra livestock units.

Another farm for cattle was purchased (land and a house) in the village of Mechkul, later rebuilt in cooperation with 4 farmers and 60 cattle in total.  

20 ha of pastures were rented for 5 years period. 

167 ha are being managed by FWFF livestock in the region of villages Rakitna and Mechkul. 

All the cooperation with farmers and the established farms ensures more available food for vultures and biodiversity beneficial grassland management. 

Cooperative  transhumant movements of sheep/goat/cattle  herds in Pirin Mountains in summer. FWFF team has met and talked to about 150 Farmers who have been compensated by the Program C4. Additionally  about 80 more farmers, who have called us for dead livestock, were introduced to the project. 

Visible  improving of pastures, handling erosion of the soil. The project very much appreciates the theory of Allan Savory TED talks about the significance of grassland management vs desertification.