The two Egyptian Vultures that were captured this winter in Extremadura – part of a newly discovered wintering population there, are still relatively near their capture place.
Fresnedosa and Jara – they are both females – were tagged last month as part of a project to survey and monitor the wintering population of Egyptian vultures – up to 65 birds in Extremadura
Fresnedosa (the immature) has been making only short moments around the area where it was captured, but Jara flew about 60km to Sierra de San Pedro, and is mostly hanging around a cliff that is a known Egyptian Vulture territory. Has she met her partner, maybe a bird that travelled from Africa?
Extremadura has about 175 breeding pairs of Egyptian Vultures, mostly in the northern part of the region, representing 10% of the total Spanish population, which in itself is the biggest in Europe.
The Egyptian vulture is a partially migratory species across its vast global range, with vultures from Eurasia wintering in Africa, in a belt from Mali though Sudan to Ethiopia. Previous research has indicated that Egyptian vultures from the Iberian Peninsula winter mostly in an area comprising Mali-Burkina Faso-Chad. They normally arrive back to the peninsula in March. However, we now know that some stay in the peninsula, namely in Extremadura.
Egyptian vultures are now globally endangered, and are declining fast across vast areas of their range, including in many regions in Spain. We hope that this study will help us understand more about its population dynamics, threat factors, including mortality causes, and thus help in their conservation.
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