A visitor from Spain in the LIFE Rupis area

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Recently some photos of a colour-ringed Egyptian vulture, taken last Spring (May 2016) in a supplementary feeding station in the Faia Brava Reserve (Coa valley, Douro) have emerged. Subsequent research has confirmed that this bird had been ringed in the nest in Segovia in July 2013 – it was a male.

The bird must have been in its first trip to Europe after spending two winters in Africa, and came to explore the canyons of the Douro and Coa. The supplementary feeding site in question is managed by ATB, Associação Transumância e Natureza, as is situated in their nature reserve.

This shows that Egyptian vultures do disperse large distances – the bird was certainly prospecting a potential breeding territory. This year it may breed already – is it in the region?

The project LIFE RUPIS, which aims to strength the populations of Egyptian Vulture in Douro International valley, through improved breeding success and reduction of mortality, is implemented by the VCF and partners, including SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal), ATN and Palombar (regional conservation organisations in NE Portugal), the Junta de Castilla y Leon & the Fundación Patrimonio Natural de Castilla Y León, the Portuguese electricity distributor EDP-D, the Portuguese statutory conservation agency ICNF and the Portuguese environmental police force (GNR). The project is tackling the most important threats to Egyptian vultures, namely food shortages, degradation of the habitat, electrocution risk and the illegal use of poison

The Egyptian vulture is Europe’s most threatened vulture species – classified as “Endangered” at global level. While the three others European vulture species are registering positive trends across Europe, Egyptian vultures continue to decline in most regions in the continent (and elsewhere).

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