Birders News

Date: 02-10-2020

7 Key Principles of Ethical Ecotourism

Written by: Pavel Simeonov

For the past 18 months Bed and Birding has participated in the development of principles for ethical ecotourism, led by Terra Incognita. We are pleased to present the results below which we fully support.

Please, read the full principles here.

For example, Bed & Birding partner “Branta Lodge” has been deeply involved in the conservation of breeding Dalmation Pelicans at Srebarna Biosphere Reserve (Principle 1), and Bed and Birding itself actively promotes Principle 4 on sharing knowledge.

Srebarna Dalmatian Pelican colony - a successful example of international partnership for nature conservation.


Since 1998 the watchword for the Srebarna Dalmatian Pelican Project has been to support one of the species last breeding colonies beside Lake Srebarna in Bulgaria, and specifically by creating several two-metre high wooden pile breeding platforms, we can prevent nesting birds from drowning when the Danube is in flood and also protect the young pelicans from predators.

The construction of the pile platforms was made in the frame of the Srebarna Dalmatian Pelican Conservation Programme, with the financial support of Swarovski Optik.

Srebarna wooden pile breeding platforms


With an increase from just 50-60 pairs when the project began in 1998 to around 120 in 2020, the success of the Dalmatian Pelican Conservation Project in Srebarna also shows that with the right management and targeted financial support there is still room for this large and beautiful waterbird to not only survive but prosper on this planet we all share.


In February 2012, Branta Birding Lodge was involved in another conservation programme - the first successful satellite tracking of Red-breasted Geese (Branta ruficollis), which also comes under Principle 1.

Wintering Red-breasted Geese (Branta ruficollis)


Eight birds were fitted with Satellite/GPS transmitters with the main goal to study the migratory flyway of this globally endangered species.  

The 2012-2014 satellite-tagged birds have sent very valuable location data. They provided precise information on the timing and migratory strategy of the species. From our results, we were able to estimate the stopover duration and distance covered by the birds during all migratory stages from their wintering sites in Bulgaria to their breeding grounds in the Russian tundra.

Satellite transmitter tagged Red-breasted Geese

Numerous volunteers and colleagues from many countries have been hugely important for the success of this project and conservation effort. The volunteers involved are from the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Romania,  Russia,  Ukraine  and  USA, all  staying  and working together at Branta Birding Lodge.