Impact of farming structure on intensity of wild birds accidents

I. Lazarova1*, G. Balieva1, S. Dimitrova2

1Department Food Quality and Safety and Veterinary Legislation, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Trakia University, Stara Zagora 6000, Bulgaria
2Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre – Green Balkans – Stara Zagora NGO, 6006 P. Box: 27 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 15 February 2023; accepted for publication 27 December 2023)

Abstract. The living environment of progressively increasing population worldwide is significantly encroaching on and occupying areas of wild nature. At the marginal zones where human activity and environment meet, biodiversity is subjected to the effects of agriculture and its modern intensification. The grasslands within human settlements serve as intersections where farm animals and wildlife meet and interact, sometimes directly competing for resources. One aspect of this interaction involves active management of encounters between wild and domestic animals in order to control animal health at both individual and herd levels, aiming to minimize economic losses and maximize productivity and sustainability of livestock production. On the other hand, wild animals are also directly and indirectly influenced by the type of animal husbandry practices developed in each region, often with adverse consequences for wildlife. Human-wildlife conflict is among the most urgent and well-researched issues for the creation and implementation of effective wildlife conservation measures worldwide. However, systematic knowledge of these conflicts remains insufficient. In order to explore the spatial overlap between livestock and wildlife leading to conflicts between them, this study aims to assess the incidence of wildlife poisoning cases and their relation to changes in the type of livestock farming by economic planning regions in the country. For this study, we analyzed variations in the number of farm animals raised in specific regions from 2000 to 2019, and the trends in structural changes of registered livestock facilities in Bulgaria. We examined the influence of the structure of livestock holdings and the intensification of animal husbandry on the rate of patient admissions to the “Green Balkans” Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre in Stara Zagora.