As part of the LIFE GYPHELP project, in which the VCF is a partner, the VCF, ASTERS and the FDC74 (Hunting Federation for Haute-Savoie) organised last September a seminar in Annecy to discuss current knowledge and best practices on the issue of lead poisoning, with the aim to develop recommendations to minimise this threat in the project area (French Alps).
During the last few years several cases of lead poisoning have been reported on vultures in the Alps, including on bearded vultures – this maybe in fact the only current significant threat affecting this population. We know from the literature that there is a general presence of heavy metals in the alpine environment (either natural or increased by human-generated pollution), but there is plenty of evidence that the main source of the lead in the cases of bearded vulture poisoning comes from lead ammunition used in hunting activities across the Alps.
The seminar gathered on one side the European experts working on this issue from the surrounding areas/countries (Switzerland, Italy and Germany), staff from other relevant LIFE projects (involving lead poisoning actions), and all the project stakeholders: the national offices of hunting and wildlife, hunting federations and the “Vigilance Poison Plan in France” working group.
The conclusions of the seminar, as well as all the presentations, have now been published online – you can see the conclusions below (in French and English), and download the presentations from here