Captive breeding can be a powerful for in situ conservation projects, namely in providing young for reintroduction/restocking projects.
The Vulture Conservation Foundation is involved in the coordination of several vulture captive breeding networks, as well as in many reintroduction projects. The VCF coordinates the bearded vulture EEP (European Endangered Species Programme) on behalf of EAZA, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria. This network includes over 30 Zoos and specialized captive breeding stations that have with bearded vultures, most of which are owned by the VCF. This captive breeding network is at the basis of the successful reintroduction projects in the Alps (where there are now 30 breeding pairs in the wild), the Grands Causses (started in 2010) and Andalusia (started in 2006).
The coordinators of the Eurasian black vulture and the Egyptian vulture EEPs are also in the VCF advisory board, and the VCF is increasingly involved in the Eurasian black vulture reintroduction project in France.
Similarly to what we have done with the bearded vulture EEP, the VCF is now providing through its website a series of technical documents and guidelines on the husbandry and captive breeding of Eurasian black vultures, summarizing all the knowledge and know-how acquired by the VCF experts.
The reproductive success of captive Eurasian Black Vultures is still relatively low and therefore only very few individuals have been released in reintroduction projects. The Eurasian Black Vulture EEP manager and the VCF hope to enhance the management of the captive population, so that more birds can be provided in the future for reintroduction. For this, a number of documents – background information, guidelines on captive breeding, reports, PowerPoint’s, etc. have been produced and/or collected, and are now made available through the VCF website. See