The 4th Adriatic Flyway Conference was held from 25 to 29 of April 2022 in Zadar, Croatia. The event brought together conservationists from across Europe - 73 participants who exchanged ideas, presented data, discussed threats and solutions. Among the participants was a team from Green Balkans, which presented the project LIFE19 NAT/BG/000804 Life for the Pomorie Lagoon and its work for the protection of the site.
There were also experience exchange with colleagues from Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, where there are also salt pans and similar habitats. An important experience was exchanged with colleagues from Montenegro, whose long-standing campaign to protect the salt pans in Ulcinj ended successfully by declaring them a protected area. In this way, the plans for complete destruction by building this important site for birds and nature were blocked. This is especially important for us, given the high probability that such a campaign is needed to save the Pomorie salt pans, which are of key importance the lake ecosystem to function as a saline lagoon.
On the second day of the Conference, participants had the opportunity to visit the salt pans on the Pag island - a wetland that, like Pomorie Lake, combines natural wealth and traditional livelihoods and is an important resting site for birds during migration and also provides nesting habitats for some of them.
The Adriatic flyway along the Western Balkans is one of the main migration routes along which twice a year European migratory birds fly to Africa and return to Europe. Mortality along this migration route is very high, and the reasons for this are diverse - poaching; electrocution or collisions in power lines; lead poisoning due to the still widespread use of lead ammunition in hunting; the use of poison baits to kill wild animals illegally. The sad example from Bulgaria was given with the poisoning of four Black vultures, including the first Black vulture chick in Bulgaria that hatched in the wild for decades.