Come and join us to the 25th meeting of the « Vultures France » network at the La Cazotte Agricultural High School in Saint Affrique (12) from the 25th to the 27th of October 2019.
Last June, environmental advocates from the Balkan Peninsula, from Bulgaria to Greece, closely monitored the Egyptian vulture population in the Balkans and the results are alarming. Indeed, they showed a significant decrease of their population. The number of occupied territories decreased by 32% (from 74 to 51) and the number of couples by 37% (from 71 to 45) between 2012 and 2019.
But some news give us hope !
We welcome a new bird in Europe : the Rüppell’s vulture!
The Rüppell's vulture (Gyps rueppelli) is a native of the Sahel region, in Africa, which was recently classified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and its Resources (IUCN) in the category "Critically Endangered", the last category before global extinction.
Landfills provide food availabilty but have a negative impact on the physiology of Egyptian vultures
A recent study monitored a population of Egyptian vultures in the Iberian Peninsula and showed that birds prefer to nest in areas near landfills. Fledglings fed with food collected from landfills are "better fed" and experience "fewer food shortages" than those who are not, but this new food resource seems to have an impact on the health of Egyptian vultures.
Long term link between the food diet and the breeding success in a declining population of Egyptian vultures.
Between 2000 and 2009, a study was carried out in Andalusia, southern Spain, whose aim was to analyse the productivity and food habits of Egyptian vultures in 13 territories. The annual 3.4 % decline of the inhabited territories is alarming. In less than a decade, the number of inhabited territories went down from 33 to 23 over the 170 000 km2 studied zone.
In January 2019, an expedition to Ethiopia was conducted jointly by BSPB, RSPB, Birdlife Africa, EWNHS, SCF, NCF and APLORI with three objectives :
- Check the number of Egyptian vultures in Afar wintering sites and in a small area of the Oromia region.
- Gather evidence of the main threats (poisoning, electrocution/collision, direct persecution) in order to implement appropriate conservation actions.
- Fix GPS/GSM transmitters on Egyptian vultures.
Here below is a summary of the results of the expedition :
The latest « Vulture info » magazine n° 35, dated winter 2018/2019, can now be downloaded.
The last French and international news about the monitoring and studies on various species, conservation actions, awareness raising and communication actions is available.
Enjoy the reading !
Within the national action plan for the Egyptian vulture –“Plan national d’Actions Vautour percnoptère”- ringing and telemetric monitoring of the species are developing with all the association and institutional partners of the program, particularly for GPS tracking operations : the conservatory of natural areas in the French south-eastern region (Conservatoire des Espaces Naturels Région PACA) and the joint association of the Gardon gorges (Syndicat Mixte des Gorges du Gardon).
The various operations and results are presented in the follow-up report by Erick Kobierzycki, technical coordinator for the National Actions Plan "Egyptian vulture".
In 2018, the number of couples staying in the south-eastern part of France welcomed a new couple. They were 17 couples in 2015 and the population grew to 20 in 2018. 17 young fledged. The information on the breeding period of the species in the South-East, the monitoring with photo-traps of feeding stations and the telemetric monitoring of some south-eastern birds is available in the annual report by Cécile Ponchon (CEN PACA), coordinator of the National Actions Plan for the Egyptian vulture in South-East France and local contributors implied in the monitoring and conservation of the species.
The Bulgarian association for the protection of birds (BSPB), Doga Dernegi, and the RSPD have set up a camp in Sarimazi, a migration bottleneck in the South of Turkey. From mid-August to mid-October, 3 observation zones made it possible to monitor most of the Egyptian vultures and other birds of prey migrating around the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea. 106731 birds , of which 813 Egyptian vultures, were counted.
A complete version of the daily bird count and the total count is available on Sarimazi count website.