New scientific article about the Egyptian vulture

Landfills provide food availabilty but have a negative impact on the physiology of Egyptian vultures

A number of landfills offer large quantities of food which is used by various species whose population dynamics is consequently modified.

A team has studied how waste consumed by juveniles in a growing population of Egyptian vultures impacts their health.

The results have shown that food from landfills could be a double-edged sword because, on the one hand, it is an easy source of food which allows birds to be well-fed but, on the other hand, it brings fewer vitamins and carotenoids which are essential to juveniles : antioxidant defenses and immune-stimulating properties are necessary at the time of sexual selection. Low levels could have negative consequences on the health of birds.


Relationship between plasma concentrations of lutein, tocopherol and zeaxanthin (μM) (vitamins and carotenoids) in juvenile Egyptian vultures and the proportion of diet from landfills

Thanks to large food availability, breeding couples feeding from landfills could have more fledglings. However, little is known about the long-term negative effects of bad food and poisoning risks.

From the article : Tauler-Ametlller, Helena, et al. "Domestic waste disposal sites secure food availability but diminish plasma antioxidants in Egyptian vulture." Science of The Total Environment 650 (2019): 1382-1391.
Translated by Claudine Caillet