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Bearded Vulture releases continue in LIFE GYPCONNECT project in France on Saturday 18 May

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The three captive-bred Bearded Vulture chicks released last week are currently in their specially built nests in the Parc Naturel Régional des Grands Causses, getting used to their new surroundings after being released into the wild. With the Bearded Vulture release season in full swing we have our next release coming up on Saturday 18 May.

The first release of captive-bred Bearded Vultures this year was part of the LIFE GYPCONNECT vulture conservation project, one of the four reintroduction projects ongoing in 2019. The next release on the schedule is another release for LIFE GYPCONNECT , this time moving from the southern Massif Central to the French pre-Alps in the Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors.

Connecting populations

Beginning in 2015 the LIFE GYPCONNECT project has been reintroducing Bearded Vultures to the French Massif Central mountain range and the westernmost pre-Alps with the aims of connecting the breeding populations in Pyrenees and in the Alps. Since 2010 15 birds have been released in the Massif Central.

As part of the LIFE GYPCONNECT project we have three more planned releases this year: two birds will be released in Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors on Saturday 18 May and a second release in Parc Naturel Régional des Grands Causses of two more birds on Monday 3 June. Finally two birds will be released in the Parc Naturel Régional des Baronnies Provençales betweeen the 25 and 28 May.

Engaging future livestock owners

During the the 2016 release of captive-bred Bearded Vultures in the Vercors, the Graines d’Eleveurs, a group of local young people whose families are livestock owners, came face to face with one of the young birds released into the wild. The group formed in 2015 with the aim of promoting the values and raising the profile of the traditions associated with agriculture in the Vercors region and have been carrying out many projects since then. One of the projects involves conserving the natural heritage associated with traditional livestock practices in the region including understanding the important role of vultures have in the ecosystem and how agriculture can support them. They recorded the video above. This year they will again be present in the release of the two birds.

The two birds to be released this weekend are two males, one originating from the specialised captive-breeding center in Haringsee (Austria), the other one bred in Guadalentín (Andalusia).

Our own Alex Llopis (Bearded Vulture Captive-Breeding Manager) and Hans Frey (Manager of the Bearded Vulture specialised Captive-Breeding Centere in Haringsee) will transport the birds to Vercors and will be present. Alex Llopis will also participate in the roundtable and will answer questions from the audience about what it takes to breed this species in captivity.

Keep track of the releases by following #BeardedVultureReleases on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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