The 7 black vultures (Aegypius monachus) that the VCF has transported this weekend from Spain to France, arrived well and are already settled in their acclimatization aviaries.
The vultures were taken from Spanish recovery centers in Extremadura and Andalucia, and travelled 1600km by road in 24h, to contribute to the reintroduction projects in Verdon and Baronnies – France.
The black vultures are of wild origin, but were picked up wounded or weak in Extremadura and Andalucia – these two regions currently hold the biggest black vulture population in Europe, about a half of the Spanish population (1300 breeding pairs).
The reintroduction project in France was initiated in 1988, in the Grand Causses region, where 53 individuals were released between 1992 and 2004. In 2004, the associations ‘Vautours en Baronnies’ and ‘Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux’ (LPO-PACA) started other reintroduction programmes in France, in the mountain areas of the Baronnies and Verdon, respectively.
Three of the birds went to Verdon, while four were directed to the Baronnies reintroduction project.
In Verdon – the youngest of the reintroduction projects – 28 birds have been released so far, while 9 others are in the acclimatisation aviary to be released in the next few months. The species started to breed there recently.
In Baronnies, a total of 43 birds have been released – the four now sent there will be released later in the year. Last year there were 9 breeding pairs.
The reintroduction projects are carried out within the framework of the National Action Plan for the recovery of the black vulture population in France (2011-2016), prepared by LPO and supported by the French ministry of Environment.