A new paper researching the Dietary habits of Egyptian vultures in Sicily has been published recently. The study was based on the analysis of prey remains collected in nests from 2005 to 2009.
More than 50% of prey items were mammals (predominantly Wild Rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus), 35% were birds and 10% were domestic poultry. Compared with similar studies done in 1981 and 2002, there were significant differences in diet composition, with an observed reduction of livestock remains and the increase of wild medium size mammals and birds in the diet.
An article published in May 2017 in the journal Ecology Thijs Van Overveld, Manuel De La Riva and Jose Antonio Donazar describes an unusual behavior of Egyptian Vulture on the island of Fuerteventura: they filmed for the first time individuals dye their feathers with mud.
To continue the tradition from previous years (e.g see 2012, 2013 and 2014), in April 2017 an international research team composed by members of the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB/BirdLife Bulgaria), the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS / BirdLife Greece) and the Association of Protection and Preservation of Natural Environment in Albania (PPNEA), aimed its efforts to monitor the status of the Egyptian vulture breeding population in Albania.
Following the « Life Defense Nature 2000 », the Syndic of the Gorges du Gardon and the Army have built a feeding station for Egyptian Vulture on the 1st March in the Garrigues Army Camp.
A 25x25m square has been closed by a fence against trespassing animals (including wild boars) and covered by a pavement, thanks to help and vehicles of the army.
The implementation of feeding stations is one of the priorities of Egyptian Vulture National Action Plan to maintain the presence or help the return of this threatened species.
Butchery refuse and carcasses from local farms can be put there and will provide a regular food resource for the species.
Ohad Hatzofe of Israel Nature and Parks Authority informs us:
In the last few days you can observe three generations of Egyptian Vultures, captive born and released, in Mt Carmel:
2 birds born 2011 released in 23/01/2012
1 bird born 2013 released in 03/04/2014 (also equipped with a GPS logger, just returned from Ethiopia)
1 bird born 2015 released in 16/04/2016 (with a GPS)
Great satisfaction …
One must remember that the species had extinct from this region over 50 years ago.
Rupis - the subadult Egyptian vulture which was captured and tagged in the Douro canyon in the framework of the project LIFE Rupis last July, and that has spent the winter in the National Park Boucle du Baoulé in western Mali – has arrived back home, after having flown more than 3800km in 15 days.
Rupis stayed all winter in Mali, and started its migration northwards on the 3rd April, By the 8th he had already crossed most of the Sahara desert through Mauritania, and on the 14th he reached Ceuta on the Mediterranean shores of Morocco – he then crossed the Gibraltar straits the following day and in two days reached the Douro area.
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