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Volunteers needed: join the Bearded Vulture International Observation Days 2023 (IOD)

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On October 14th, we invite all Vulture enthusiasts to step outdoors, armed with binoculars, ready to scan the European skies to count Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus). Join the 18th Bearded Vulture International Observation Days (IOD) as a volunteer and contribute to the largest citizen science initiative dedicated to a single vulture species. Over 1100 volunteers assisted us in counting Bearded Vultures across six different countries last year. Find out how you can join us this year.

Join the 2023 Bearded Vulture International Observation Days (IOD)

This year, the IOD takes place on 14 October; everyone is invited to join. Bearded Vulture experts will organise monitoring sessions in several observation sites, open to bird enthusiasts and the wider public. To participate, you need to directly contact the person responsible for the region closest to you. Observations will happen across the Alpine range, the French Pyrenees, Maestrazgo and Andalusia in Spain and Bulgaria. Check below your contact person:

Austria
Nationalpark Hohe Tauern: matthias.lehnert@salzburg.gv.at

Bulgaria
Green Balkans: smarin@greenbalkans.org

France
Asters Haute-Savoie Conservatory of Natural Areas: etienne.marle@asters.asso.fr
Le Parc national du Mercantour
Ubaye: francois.breton@mercantour-parcnational.fr
Verdon: verdon@mercantour-parcnational.fr
Haut Var: varcians@mercantour-parcnational.fr
Tinée: herve.brosius@mercantour-parcnational.fr
Vésubie: vesubie@mercantour-parcnational.fr
Roya Bevera: royabevera@mercantour-parcnational.fr
Parc national de la Vanoise: jerome.cavailhes@vanoise-parcnational.fr
Envergures Alpines: envergures.alpines@gmail.com; Dauphiné: christian.couloumy@gmail.com
Parc naturel régional des Grands Causses: noemie.ziletti@lpo.fr
Parc naturel régional du Vercors: life.gypaete@pnr-vercors.fr
Vautours en Baronnies: gypaete@vautoursenbaronnies.com

Italy
Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio: luca.corlatti@ersaf.lombardia.it 
Sondrio province: enrico.bassi76@gmail.com
Aosta: c.chioso@regione.vda.it
Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime: fabiano.sartirana@parcoalpimarittime.it

Spain
Junta de Andalusia (Andalusia and Castilla y León): enrique.avila@juntadeandalucia.es
Maestrazgo: davizqace@hotmail.com

Switzerland
Stiftung Pro Bartgeier
Central Switzerland: franziska.loercher@swild.ch
Eastern Switzerland (Graubünden) jenny.d@compunet.ch
Southern Switzerland (Tessin): roberto.lardelli@gmail.com
North-Western Switzerland (Bern) marco.orni@gmail.com
South-Western Switzerland (Valais + Western Switzerland): juliawildi@bluewin.ch

Germany
ZnAlp & LBV (NP Berchtesgaden, Allgäu): henning.werth@reg-schw.bayern.de and toni.wegscheider@lbv.de

Why are volunteers so important?

By helping us collect this monitoring data, you’re providing valuable insight to assess the success of ongoing reintroduction projects. It enables a better understanding of the species’ distribution range and generates baseline information for scientists on survival rates and demographic modelling.

The monitoring data provided during the IODs is thus fundamental to the ambitious ongoing conservation initiatives across Europe targetting Bearded Vulture populations. Together, we can ensure a bright future for the Bearded Vulture in Europe!

The International Observation Days in 2022

On the last edition of the Bearded Vulture International Observation Days (IOD), almost 1200 volunteers surveilled 723 different observation sites. On the focal day (8.10.2022), 529 Bearded Vultures were identified. Another 271 were spotted during the buffer period of one week, which is included to increase the chances of spotting birds where weather conditions were unfavourable during the focal day.

Download here the 2022 full report.

International Bearded Vulture Monitoring Network (IBM) Logo

The IOD is a citizen-science activity organised by the International Bearded Vulture Monitoring Network (IBM), coordinated by us at the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF). Its success relies on the involvement of dozens of organisations across Europe and the time of thousands of volunteers engaged.

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