An update on griffon vultures in Croatia – 100+ breeding pairs

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A survey of the breeding population of griffon vulture in the islands of Cres, Krk, Prvić and Plavnik on the Croatian Adriatic coast, done by the NGO BIOM and Public institution Priroda, has revealed at least 108 breeding pairs. In mid-June, there were at least 76 nestlings still in the nests.

This represents potentially a small decrease from the 140 breeding pairs registered by vulture researcher Goran Susic a few years ago. Due to his decades-old dedication to the conservation of the species, including anti-poisoning campaigns, proper enforcement of protection measures and continuing awareness work, the population of griffons has recovered from 60 pairs in the 1990s, but it seems it is now fluctuating a bit.

The  Visitor and Rescue Centre for Griffon Vultures on the island of Cres situated in the village of Beli is now managed by the Public institution Priroda (Public institution for managing protected nature areas and NATURA 2000 network on the county level), has been renovated 2 years ago and includes three exhibitions (griffon vultures, ethnological museum, and island’s biodiversity), and a large aviary. See,

Last year, Rescue Centre has been taking care of five griffon vultures and all five of them, after the recovery process, were released back to the nature. One of the released griffons was spotted in June this year, on the feeding station for griffon vultures in Italian Alps, in the Cornino Lake Nature Reserve.

Two griffon vultures that were released with tags from the Rescue Centre for Griffon Vultures in early July this year, unfortunately died. One was picked exhausted a week after release and died in the rehabilitation centre, showing signs of a respiratory disease, while the second died after a few weeks, drowned in an irrigation pond.

Currently there are 6 more juvenile griffon vultures in the centre, getting ready to be released back into nature.

Photos: BIOM, Priroda

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