A new study about what Egyptian Vultures eat

A survey conducted by Associação Transumância e Natureza (ATN) and carried out within the LIFE Rupis project revealed fascinating information about how Egyptian vultures feed in the Douro Canyon.

Scientists collected and identified food leftovers from 10 Egyptian vulture nests in the Douro Canyon.


Egyptian vulture (c) Pilar Oliva


They showed a wide variety of species.

The identified taxonomic categories include birds (wild or domestic), mammals (ungulates and non-ungulates), reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, in quantities that vary from one nest to another.

Mammals constitute the largest proportion of species consumed in most of the nests, except in the NP-BE-35 territory where the bird species are the biggest part of their food.

It is interesting to note that, in most studied nests, fish account for a large part of the diet except in the NP-HU territory where it is not present.

Most of the food resources come from nature and wild species. However, in the NP-SA-230 territory, interestingly, the scientists found an impressive 34% of the food coming from dumpsites.

Thanks to this study, we know more about the unique and interesting ecology of Egyptian vultures. It helps us visualize their diet which is extremely diverse and varies considerably from one bird to another, from one breeding couple to another and also among the different breeding populations.

It emphasizes the need to adopt a holistic approach to the conservation of the Egyptian vulture because the whole population gets their food from extremely varied environments : from rivers to meadows, from agroforestry zones to farm yards including manure heaps or dumpsites.

For a detailed description of the food diet of every studied nest, you are welcome to load and consult the final report by Antonio Hernandez-Matias and Joan Carles Abella from the source link below.