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Be a conservationist for a day and count Europe’s rarest vulture on International Observation Day 12 October 2019

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Observers during IOD (c)Timia Sanchez

For the 14th consecutive year, the International Bearded Vulture Observation Day (IOD) will bring together hundreds of volunteers and experts to search the skies for Bearded Vultures across the Alps, the Massif Central in France, Aude in the French Pyrenees and Andalusia, Spain, as well as in Bulgaria. Are you a vulture fan that wants to help conservationists monitor and count Europe’s rarest vulture? Take part in the IOD!

International Bearded Vulture Observation Day (IOD)

The IOD is organised by the International Bearded Vulture Monitoring Network (IBM), which is coordinated by us here at the VCF. It takes place for a week in October with a single focal day, where members of the public join Bearded Vulture experts and experienced bird watchers to carry out simultaneous and coordinated surveys of Bearded Vultures in the Alps, Massif Central the eastern Pyrenees, different parts of Spain and Bulgaria. In last year’s IOD, more than 1000 observers participated who spread across 620 observation sites! All local coordinators sent the observations and their estimates of observed Bearded Vultures to the IBM coordinator. He is now finalising the report, which will give a view of the number of individuals currently living in the areas monitored. We will publish the results in the upcoming weeks – stay tuned.

Why is it important to count Bearded Vultures?

Bearded Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich

This count allows for thorough monitoring of the Bearded Vulture population status and distribution in almost the full distribution range. Furthermore, the count produces many sightings of identifiable birds and generates baseline data for conservation scientists to analyse survival rates and model the age structure of the population which will help us understand the impacts of the reintroduction programmes.

Get involved

The IOD is an ambitious conservation initiative that covers five different countries and cannot be achieved without the help of the public! This year’s simultaneous count is on 12 October 2019. All over the Alps, the Massif Central, the department Aude and Andalusia and Bulgaria, we are inviting people to get involved, pick up a pair of binoculars, spend the day in the mountains, help us look for Bearded Vultures and get counting.

Through our network of organisations, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Please contact the regional coordinators below if you are interested in participating or contact us for any other question:


Nationalpark Hohe Tauern – ferdinand.lainer@salzburg.gv.at


Asters Haute-Savoie Conservatory of Natural Areas: etienne.marle@asters.asso.fr

Le Parc national du Mercantour: monique.perfus@mercantour-parcnational.fr

Parc national de la Vanoise: jerome.cavailhes@vanoise-parcnational.fr

Envergures Alpines: christian.couloumy@gmail.com

Parc naturel régional des Grands Causses: lea.giraud@lpo.fr

Parc naturel régional du Vercors: life.gypaete@pnr-vercors.fr

Vautours en Baronnies: gypaete@vautoursenbaronnies.com

Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux de l’Aude: yves.roullaud.aude@lpo.fr


Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio: enrico.bassi76@gmail.com

Aosta: c.chioso@regione.vda.it

Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime: fabiano.sartirana@parcoalpimarittime.it


Fundación Gypaetus: prodriguez@gypaetus.org


Stiftung Pro Bartgeier: franziska.loercher@swild.ch


LBV: henning.werth@lbv.de

The International Bearded Vulture Monitoring Network

The International Bearded Vulture Monitoring Network (IBM) is a unique international collaboration led by the Vulture Conservation Foundation between national & natural parks and non-governmental organisations to coordinate the monitoring activities for European Bearded Vulture populations. Through this network, data about the Bearded Vulture in Europe is collected, shared and made available to everyone working for the conservation of the species. The IBM-network also uses this data and comes together to discuss conservation strategies and priorities for this species on an international level. There are currently 16 partners and two associated organisations part of the IBM-network.

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