Three American students spent three months in Burgas, studying Atanasovsko lake. These include fieldwork, scientific studies of the Greater flamingo and some Waders, research of seagrasses and especially Ruppia maritima, the study of salt marshes, monitoring of dragonflies in Lake Pomorie, etc.
The young people arrived in Bulgaria thanks to the ISLA International program, which connects American universities and non-governmental organizations from different countries. The ISLA team chose BBF even before the pandemic, but the exchange of students was delayed for some time due to travel restrictions.
Today, the BBF team is pleased to report the effect of this partnership and to have the opportunity to work with highly motivated young people who have interests in the field of species and habitat conservation, but also have the opportunity to use what they have learned during their study at the State University in Colorado in a Conservation Leadership Capstone (CLTL) program and put it into practice.
It was especially nice for our team to share our experience and knowledge about the area and learn new things scientifically and culturally from them. Our first meeting in June was an actual survival in nature and a test of their willingness to embark on new adventures because we met in Chathama (Rhodopi mountain), where there is no electricity and water, compost toilets and a shower on a solar battery. But they did great and showed us that they are not afraid of challenges. So, at every opportunity, they waded in the salty mud of Lake Atanasovsko, in the waters of Lake Pomorie or again fell victim to our bloodthirsty mosquitoes.
Abby Adams, Parker Allen and Emily Andreas worked on two topics together: “The Atanasovsko Lake: possible competition between increasing populations of Greater Flamingos and local waterbird communities” and “Transplantation of the Seagrass Ruppia maritima for Coastal Wetland Conservation in the Black Sea region”.
They participated with their scientific posters in the international LIFE platform meeting "Innovative Approaches in Coastal Wetland Management" in October 2022, and in November in Colorado presented their work and did excellent advertisement both for Bulgaria and for the Biodiversity Foundation during their public defence.
We wish them much success in their future conservation and nature study activities in the USA and we hope that soon we will have the opportunity to meet again and have a good time together, as during these three months of 2022 in Burgas.
You can learn more about the students and your work from your page: