Our first ever crowdfunding campaign was a success! With the support of 118 generous #VultureConservationHeroes, we reached our fundraising target of €7,500 and will be able to move 19 bearded vultures across Europe to help them find new homes and new mates. On behalf of us here at the Vulture Conservation Foundation, the many partner organisations and countless number of dedicated conservation staff and volunteers helping to bring this magnificent species back to the skies of Europe, we would like to say a massive thank you for your generous support.
Reintroducing the bearded vulture across Europe
The reintroduction of the bearded vulture to the Alps is considered one of the world’s greatest wildlife comeback stories, from extinction across the mountain chain to 52 breeding pairs last year.
Our mission is to restore the species to much of its former range across Europe and we have been working across five different regions on projects that are reintroducing the bearded vulture in Andalusia and Valencia in Spain, across the Alps, and in the Massif Central/Grands Causses and in Corsica in France.
In 2018 we released 13 captive-bred birds into the wild, adding up to 301 birds since 1986!
All of our reintroduction projects rely on our Bearded Vulture European Endangered Species Programme – a captive breeding network of 36 zoos, 5 specialized breeding centers and 2 private collections.
To continue our reintroduction work we need to make sure the 174 birds we look after have the best conditions for breeding, as we reintroduce the species to more areas and release more birds.
The Bearded Vultures are already on the Move!
This year we urgently needed to move 19 bearded vultures across the network to find them new homes, safe from the risk of disease, and new mates.
Birds like GypHelp, a wild born male, who was found in distress in France, grounded and unable to fly due to a feather disorder and is moving to a new home at the Guadalentín Breeding Centre, Spain.
And the two males BG 080 and BG 212 who are swapping homes in Austria and Switzerland, to find new mates.
Because of the generous support of 118 members of the public we are now able to move these 19 birds, including these three, across the captive breeding network and continue our work bringing back this magnificent bird to the skies of Europe. Vulture Conservation Foundation Director José Tavares said:
We are very honored to have your support and this makes us feel motivated to continue giving our best for the conservation of vultures in Europe. I am also very proud of my team and colleagues, who work extremely hard. It is really a case of all together for vultures. Thank you!
Rewarding our #VultureConservationHeroes
Now, it is time for us to start preparing the rewards for all these amazing people, from all over the world, who have decided to join us on these critical efforts. We are printing some incredible photo cards by Hansruedi Weyrich, as well as t-shirts and tote bags featuring a caricature of a bearded vulture by Green Humour. There are also 9 supporters who will be having a live skype conversations with our bearded vulture team, and 3 who will get the chance to visit the captive-breeding centres at Vallcalent and Haringsee.