Photography competition: The Egyptian Vultures Odyssey


At the International Bird Day (1 April) the Life+ project “The Return of the Neophron” announces a photography competition, intended to promote the popularization and conservation of the Egyptian Vulture, one of the most endangered bird species on the planet.


We expect a wide variety of inspiring photographs portraying different aspects of the Egyptian vulture’s life; its habitat; beautiful landscapes on the migration route; the difficulties and dangers which the bird is facing; sustainable livelihoods that support the wellbeing of the vultures and biodiversity as a whole, also relationship of Egyptian vuluture with local people like shepherds for exapmle; various nature conservation activities; or just the beauty and uniqueness of this emblematic species.

There are two categories:

1. Photos of the species
2. Landscapes/ photo of the species' relationship with humans.

Why the Egyptian vulture?

The Egyptian Vulture – the White Father, the sacred bird of the Pharaohs, The harbinger of spring, the wise bird who uses tools, the only migratory species amongst the European vultures and currently one of the most endangered bird species on the planet. Its population has decreased by 50% in the past 50 years in Europe and by 80% in the past 30 years in the Balkan Peninsula. Bulgaria and Greece are two of the few countries that still shelter this emblematic species. Widening the popularity of the Egyptian vulture will have a big impact on its protection, as there will be an increase of the people who are concerned for its fate. The future of the species is in our hands!

Conditions of Entry

Eligibility criteria: 

•    Both professional and amateur photographers can participate;
•    There are no geographical restrictions and no limit on the number of submitted images as long as they are the original work of the photographer (if the entrant is under 18 years old, they must present a letter, containing approval of participation, signed by a parent or legal guardian);
•    All photographs must reflect the theme of the competit ion;
•    All photographs must be entered in digital format (TIFF or JPG) with minimum of 3000 pixels on the long side of the image and a minimum resolution of 300 dpi;
•    The allowed digital editing and enhancement tools are crop (to a level that does not affect the quality of the picture), levels, color balance, sharpen and unsharpen mask, moderate use of saturation and vibrance;
•    Removing or adding elements at a picture is not allowed;
•    All photographs must be accompanied by the photographer’s names, age, nationality and contact details; title and short description (it is desirable to mention the location/country where the picture was taken and a short story or a message to go with it). This information must be in an extra word file.

Submission of the pictures:

All photographs have to be submitted via e-mail to

Author copyright

Each participant owns the copyright of the submitted images. The entrant agrees to allow the Life+ project “The Return of the Neophron” and the partner organizations, BSPB, HOS, WWF Greece and RSPB, to use, free of charge, the entered images for various communication activities connected to the conservation of the species, each time expressly mentioning the author’s name.


The deadline for submissions is 30 June 2016. The public voting on the project’s Facebook page will begin after the publication of the first pictures and will continue until the end of July 2016.


All entries will be assessed by a jury panel and by public voting on the project’s Facebook page. The jury panel will declare the 1-st and 2-nd place winners by choosing one picture of each category. The pictures with highest public vote will be rated on 3-rd place. The jurors will select a maximum of 20 photographs to be included in an exhibition, dedicated to the conservation of the Egyptian vulture. The exhibition will be on display in September at the International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD), as well as in various communication materials.

Jury members:

1)    Svetoslav Spasov (wildlife photographer)
2)    Dimitar Gradinarov (wildlife photographer)
3)    Emilia Yankova (Communication Director, BSPB)
4)    Dimitris Vavylis (wildlife photographer)
5)    Tasos Bounas (wildlife photographer)
6)    Roula Trigou (Communication Coordinator, HOS)
7)    Mark Ward (Editor-in-Chief of Nature's Home, RSPB)

Awards for each category:

1st place:  A weekend in the Kingdom of the vultures in Bulgaria or Greece. In the autumn of 2016 you will have the opportunity to spend two unforgettable days amongst the vultures of either Bulgaria or Greece. In Bulgaria, you will be able to visit the Nature Conservation Centre “Eastern Rhodopy”, to see the sites with a guide, and to stop by a hide, where you will be able to observe and take pictures of the birds. In Greece, you will have the chance to visit the magical place Meteora – one of the last shelters for Egyptian vultures in the country. The project will cover your accommodation and food, but not the travel expenses.
2nd and 3rd place: The winners of 2nd and 3rd places will receive T-shirts of the project, a vulture pin and the new Collins identification bird Guide in Bulgarian or  Greek.

The photographers chosen to participate in the exhibition will receive an Egyptian vulture painting by the wildlife artist Pashalis Dugalis.

The official announcement of the winning entries will be made on the International Vulture Awareness Day – 3 September 2016.

Useful information
Where is B14?

Where is B14?

The breeding performance of the Egyptian Vulture population in Bulgaria is among the highest in Europe

The breeding performance of the Egyptian Vulture population in Bulgaria is among the highest in Europe