Introduction to Volume 2, Animals

This second edition of The Red Data Book of Bulgaria, Volume 2, Animals differs considerably from the first edition (Botev, Peshev 1985) both in form and in content. A major important characteristic of the present edition is that it has been adapted to the modern criteria and categories of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN 1994, 2001) on the degree of threat of the species, and this makes it comparable and usable by the international nature conservation community. The criteria and categories of IUCN adopted in the present edition are given in detail in a separate chapter in the general section of the Red Data Book.

The preparation of the first edition of the second volume, Animals, of the Red Book of Bulgaria (Botev, Peshev 1985) was based on the knowledge of about 18 000 animal species found until 1980 in the Bulgarian fauna. In 2007, in Bulgaria already over 30 000 species of animals from a large number of taxonomic groups had been registered, and their real current numbers in the country are probably over 60 000. The knowledge of their territorial and habitat distribution in Bulgaria, population abundance, ecological peculiarities and resource importance have been considerably broadened and expanded. For the purposes of the present edition, all vertebrates and a large number of invertebrates of the Bulgarian fauna were studied for an assessment of the degree of threat with a view to their inclusion in the Red Data Book, and more than 400 species of which correspond to the criteria of IUCN. As a result of the expert assessment, it was established that, out of these, 287 species and subspecies belong to the first four categories with highest degree of threat, and they are included in this revised edition with detailed articles, drawings and maps.

Included with articles, for the first time in this new and more detailed edition of the Red Data Book, are 51 species of invertebrates, of which 12 species are listed in the Extinct category and 39 are Critically Endangered. The estimation and the inclusion of invertebrates in the Red Data Book, and the critical re-assessment of the degree of threat of vertebrates in Bulgaria according to the criteria of IUCN led to a considerable increase in the number of species in the Bulgarian fauna included in this updated and revised edition. In comparison with the first edition of the Red Data Book, in which there was a total of 157 species and subspecies of animals in three categories of threat, Extinct, Endangered and Rare, this second edition contains articles, figures and distributional maps of a total of 287 species and subspecies of animals classified into the following four categories: Extinct (30), Critically Endangered (87), Endangered (70), and Vulnerable (100). In an appendix to the book, a List of Species determined as Endangered, Vulnerable, Near Threatened and Least Concern is given, without articles, figures and maps, due to insufficient information and lack of space.
New information in this second edition of the Red Book can be found in its general section containing articles about the degree of our current knowledge on the faunistic diversity of Bulgaria, about the history and the legislation for the conservation of the animal life in this country, about the protected territories in Bulgaria, and the categories and criteria of IUCN adopted in this edition. The Editorial Board thinks that this general information would be useful for professional readers, i.e. ecologists and nature conservation activists, as well as for the larger audience – lecturers, teachers, students, journalists, fans of nature, etc.
More than 120 zoologists, specialists on different groups of animals from the Bulgarian fauna, took part in the preparation of this new updated and extended edition of the Red Book. The drawings and the photographs included were made by eight highly qualified artists and animal photographers. Their names are provided in a list in the appendices of this book. The Editorial Board of Volume 2, Animals, offers them all sincere thanks for their collaboration in the preparation of this edition.

The Editorial Board would be grateful for any notes, critical comments and recommendations, and for advice concerning errors or omissions found in this new edition of the Red Book. The address for sending such contributions is:

Editorial Board of the the Red Data Book of Bulgaria. Volume 2, Animals
Institute of Zoology
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
1, Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd.
1000 Sofia

Vassil Golemansky