Kira, a 6 year old bearded vulture female that had been released in the Alpine reintroduction project, was found dead last May. The GPS data suggested that something was wrong with Kira as no movement was detected for some days. When a team from the Parc National de la Vanoise went to the site, only the transmitter and some feathers and bones were found. The carcass was most likely consumed by foxes.
Kira was released in 2010 in the Calfeisental in Switzerland. She soon moved to the border between Italy and France, where she explored different areas. After some years strolling over larger areas, Kira established herself in a small area in the Vanoise National Park. We very much hoped that she would find a partner and start to breed this year. But as we now know, this won’t happen.
Thanks to the GPS transmitter we know exactly where Kira has been in the last 6 years. She is the bearded vulture with the longest tracking time in the Alpine reintroduction project. Sadly we will not know now how a 6 year old bearded vultures uses the habitat.
You can read more about the story of Kira here: http://beardedvulture.ch/kira
The remains of Kira were found in the area of the LIFE GypHelp project and several analyses on her remains are now being performed. Because only few remains were found, we can only test for lead level in the bones and lead isotopes in the feathers. It will take a while until we will get the results – we will keep you posted!