Use of pesticides, chemicals and poisons in the region of Rusenski Lom Nature Park

13.01.2015
© Dimitar Gradinarov

The case study report “Use of pesticides, chemicals and poisons in the region of Rusenski Lom Nature Park (Lomovete SPA)”, made under the LIFE+ project “The Return of the Neophron” summarizes the results from the research held in the beginning of April 2014. The research have identified a number of irregularities in the use of pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals for the commercial agriculture needs as well as cases of illegal poisoning of animals in the region of the park. The report aims to provide clarity on the reasons for the decline in the population of Egyptian vulture in North Bulgaria (in 2014 only one bird inhabited in the park) and for the declining biodiversity in the area.

The report focuses on the following noxious to the nature and biodiversity practices and violations:

  1. Unused amounts of mineral fertilizers and herbicides, as well as empty packing of chemicals were discarded along the fields and nearby forests.
  2. Unused amounts of pesticide treated seeds (sunflower, corn, etc.) were discarded after sowing or after expiring of germination – these treated seed are poisonous for mammals, birds and insects.
  3. Illegal dumps near the fields with huge amounts of discarded plastic bags, plastic bottles and burlap sacks.. All these packages were from different types of chemicals used in various agricultural practices. Most of them come under the category of toxic waste. These bags contained residues of seed or active chemicals. A case of large quantities of spilled fertilizers and other chemicals was also determined.
  4. Illegal poisoning of stray dogs, jackals, foxes and other small predators that can cause secondary poisoning of other animals.


This is in complete contradiction with the corresponding laws, directives, and regulations.

During the research, samples were taken from treated seeds thrown on unauthorized sites. The results from the analysis indicate the presence of these chemicals:

  1. Fungicide “Vitavaks - toxic to fish. Drift or runoff from treated areas is hazardous to aquatic organisms in neighboring areas.
  2. Fungicide “Aprotinin” - relatively low toxicity to birds, mammals and insects.
  3. Insecticide “Dursban” - potent neurotoxins, which can cause long term, persisting neurologic and neurotoxic damage to animals and humans.
  4. Insecticide “Reldan” - very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause longterm adverse effects in the aquatic environment.


The results of the samples taken from poisoned animals have shown the presence of pesticides.

The above practices are probably widespread throughout the country - this is a serious problem at the local and national level. This should be adequately assessed with appropriate conservation measures and better control from the relevant authorities: Bulgarian food safety agency (BFSA), Ministry of Agriculture and Food (MAF) and Ministry of environment and water (MOEW).

The authors of the case study report “Use of pesticides, chemicals and poisons in the region of Rusenski Lom Nature Park (Lomovete SPA)” are Dimitar Gradinarov (Bird Crime Officer) and Edita Difova (Agri-environment Expert).

The full report you can download here.

© Dimitar Gradinarov
© Dimitar Gradinarov
© Dimitar Gradinarov
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