On the 20th June Adonis and Jacinthe, the two young bearded vultures released in Meyrueis (Grands Causses) have finally fledged.
The birds had been monitored since being deposed on the platform in the cliff one month earlier (20th May) and were showing signs of increasing mobility, by flapping their wings intensively. So on the 20th May the protective fence was removed. The birds first explored on foot the board of the platform, feeling the thermals up the cliff, and 2 hours later Jacinthe (then 121 days old) took off. She made a beautiful first flight lasting fifty seconds, and landed well further down the cliff. Adonis (aged 124 days) only decided to take off in the late afternoon. Both birds are doing well – you can follow their movements (maps GPS tracking) on the website: http://rapaces.lpo.fr/gypaete-grands-causses/le-suivi-des-oiseaux
These are the latest birds released into the wild in the project to reintroduce the species in the Grands Causses. Releases started in 2012, and so far seven birds have been reintroduced, Bearded vultures only reach breeding maturity when they are 8 or 9, so we do not expect them to start breeding locally before 2022.
The Grands Causses are half-way between the Alps (where the species has been successfully reintroduced, now counting 30 breeding pairs) and the Pyrenees, where the autochthons population has increased in the last few decades. The reintroduction project there is led by LPO Grands Causses with the following partners: Parc national des Cévennes, Parc regional naturel des Grands Causses and the VCF. The VCF coordinates the bearded vulture captive breeding network that provides the young bearded vultures for release. These are raised naturally by captive pairs, are not hand-reared and not imprinted on humans.