Black vultures reach historical record in Extremadura

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The breeding population of black vultures nesting in Extremadura (western Spain) has reached in 2013 a new historical record: 897 pairs. This species has been increasing steadily in the last 3 decades and has recovered from an imminent extinction – in 1974, there were only 86 pairs in the same province, the stronghold of the species in Spain and western Europe.

In 2013 the staff from Junta de Extremadura that have been monitoring this endangered species have counted 590 successful fledglings from 806 controlled pairs. There are 9 colonies of this species in Extremadura, the largest of which includes 316 pairs. The Sierra de San Pedro and Monfrague are the two best places for this species in the region.

This extraordinary success story has only been possible through an intensive conservation effort led by the Junta de Extremadura, but also with the collaboration of the landowners, conservation NGOs, and others.

Today, Extremadura has one of the most important nucleuses of this species in the world. This autumn, Junta gave three black vultures that had been found weak in the countryside, and rehabilitated, to the reintroduction project in France, where they will be released soon to boost the flourishing population there (30+ pairs). The VCF is supporting this reintroduction project.

Photo by Bruno Berthemy

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