It has been a brilliant year for the Bearded Vulture reintroduction project in Andalusia all round for chicks bred in captivity, captive-bred Bearded Vultures released into the wild and young that fledged in the wild!
Good news for the Bearded Vulture in Andalusia all together
In early 2021, the reintroduction team in Andalusia rejoiced when the Bearded Vulture Captive Breeding Centre of Guadalentín broke a worldwide record by welcoming a total of ten chicks. No other facility in the world has managed to produce such a high number of chicks in a single breeding season.
In addition to this brilliant outcome, 2021 marked another successful Bearded Vulture release season in Andalusia. The Junta de Andalucía and us at the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) released a total of eight young captive-bred Bearded Vultures into the wild as part of the efforts to reintroduce the species in the region.
Andalusia welcomes the highest number of wild-hatched fledglings
Thanks to the releases that started in 2006, five Bearded Vulture pairs welcomed chicks in the Andalusian wild this year. Out of these, three young managed to fledge, surpassing the historical record of two birds. The parents behind this success are Encina and Bigup, Blimunda and Tono and Marchena and Hortelano. These pairs have been working hard during the entire breeding season to see their children, named Boni, Lopezosa and Capitel respectively, take their first flights into the wild. Before fledging, Seprona de la Guardia Civil and Coordinación Plan de Recuperación de Aves Necrófagas de Andalucía equipped them with identification rings and GPS transmitters in the nest. This action enables the project team to closely track the movements, behaviours and progress of all three wild-hatched Bearded Vultures from afar.
The Bearded Vulture reintroduction project in Andalusia
Bearded Vultures went extinct in Andalusia in 1986 mainly due to direct persecution, wildlife poisoning and human disturbance at the nesting sites. To bring them back, Junta de Andalucía, and us here at the Vulture Conservation Foundation started a reintroduction project in 1996, and the former Fundación Gypaetus was also created to manage the project. Since the first releases in 2006 and with the release of eight individuals this year, 79 Bearded Vultures have been released in Andalusia by July this year in the provinces of Jaén and Granada. Thanks to tackling threats and releasing birds, the population of the species is gradually increasing. There are currently five Bearded Vulture pairs and over 40 individuals in Andalusia.