The following disturbing news was send to europeanraptors.org by Hans Jerrentrup, a conservationist working in Greece to protect raptors and other wildlife.
Two days ago in the SPA GR 112004 Nestos Gorge, in the ruins of an abandoned village, staff of the west Rodopes National park authority discovered two dead horses, deliberately killed and laced with poison (a white substance powder). The one that looked fresher was skinned skillfuly and the poison was spread on muscles and soft tissues. The count so far totals
1 adult and 1 immature griffon
3 adult and 1 immature golden eagles (two of them just consumed remains)
1 common buzzard still biting a beakful of bait
The toll on griffons is probably heavier judging from the havoc it recked on the local golden eagle population and the fact that the central part of the local colony instead of 7-8 pairs about to form one month ago has only two incubating birds, one flying around and not a single feather more. We will keep a close look on the colony in the coming week and let you know as soon as we have something more concrete.
The area of the incident has been searched extensively and we will be expanding in a wider field tomorrow, with staff from the nearest National Park Authorities and the forestry service. The latter is on the case, and investigations are under way. Guts from the stricken birds are on their way to toxicological labs in Athens.
At a first glance it looks definately as shepherds deed, and since there are not many around, it is possible that someone will be singled out in the process. We will keep you informed with the latest developments. A common press release from all involved organisations and carnivore conservation charities (Arktouros and Callisto) has been issued, while regional media allready have posted relevant reports
Also see this press release: