The Cinereous Vulture is the largest raptor in Europe – and also one of the most endangered ones. Due due conservation efforts, the population in Spain has increased dramatically during the last decades.
On Mallorca, the species was almost extinct and at the beginning of the 1980s, only about 20 birds existed on the island. Thanks to conservation efforts and reintroduction programs by the Black Vulture Conservation Foundation, BVCF, the population has now increased to about 110 birds.
The Black Vulture Conservation Foundation has now merged with the Foundation for Conservation of Bearded Vultures (FCBV) to focus on vulture conservation across Europe. The new organisation is called the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF).
Wieder mehr Geier auf Mallorca heimisch (German)
Black Vulture Conservation Foundation
The Balkan Vulture Action Plan has a new website. With a new design and many beautiful pictures, it replaces the old website of the project.
The new website with lot’s of information about Vulture conservation on the Balkan can be found here:
In the Pyrenees, two dead Beared Vultures have been found. One juvenile with an age of 5 month died because of collision with power lines. The other bird was an adult that died in France. The cause of death is investigated in the Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre de la Alfranca (Zaragoza).
In the French Pyrenees, in 2009, 32 territories were occupied and 11 young bearded vultures fledged.
More information (in Spanish):
The Egyptian Vulture is one of the most endangered raptors in Europe. Illegal poisoning and habitat loss are a constant threat in many areas.
Another threat are high levels of toxic substances in the birds, like pathogens of poultry and pigeons, antibiotics and non-steroidal antiinflamatory drugs. Those substances have been found in Egyptian Vultures in Bulgaria. (see here for details).
In order to find out more about that problem, this year, BSPB (Birdlife Bulgaria) did a made toxicology sampling of all 25 unfledged juvenile vultures this year. Also, all birds were ringed.
The toxicological samples will be analysed in Madrid, Spain. The final results of this study will be published in 2010.
The Egyptian Vulture has declined dramatically in Bulgaria. From 2003 to 2008, the species declined from 57 to 35 pairs. The high levels of toxins probably play an important role in the species’ decline.
Alarming results from toxicology study on the Egyptian vulture in Bulgaria
BSPB made toxicology sampling and ringed all juvenile Egyptian Vultures in Bulgaria
The organisation Green Balkans started a new project called “Conservation activities for EEC Birds Directive target species – Lesser Kestrel, Black Vulture and Imperial Eagle in their main habitats in Bulgaria”. The project is supported by the European union. (Black Vulture is another name for the Cinereous Vulture).
All the species are endangered in Europe. The main goals for the project are:
- support and maintenance of the populations of rare bird species included in the EEC Birds Directive (79/409/ЕЕС) and their habitats
- creating conditions for increasing their numbers and restoring their populations in their former habitats
- reducing the conflict between the target species and the realization of investment intentions and projects
- increasing the nesting success of the breeding Imperial eagles and Black vultures
- improving the conditions for nesting of the target species
- “ex-situ” activities for restoring the population of the Lesser Kestrel
- identification of areas from the habitats of the target species sensitive to investment intentions
- raising the public awareness on the aims and effects of raptor conservation and biodiversity protection in general
All three species were a lot more widespread on the Balkan in the past. The new project is an important steps towards securing and improving the future of those raptors on the Balkan.
Green Balkans Federation started a European project for the conservation of threatened bird species