A decade ago, it was estimated that up to 20 pairs of Egyptian Vultures were breeding in Albania. Now this number has dropped to 8, confirming the dramatic decline that this species is undergoing all across the Balkans.
Last year, and again this spring, a team of researchers from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB), the Hellenic Ornithological Society (HOS) and the Albanese NGO PPNEA searched the hills and mountains of southern Albania for this species – and found 8 only active nesting territories (6 pairs and 2 single birds). The research team found a large number of abandoned nests, some close to the border with Greece. This result is unexpected, because the food base in southern Albania seems to be rich, as many herds of sheep and goats were encountered. Further, the expeditions found that locals revere the Egyptian vulture, which they call “Cuckoo’s Horse”. The shepherds ın particular seemed to respect the species and related it with the welfare of their herds.
The expeditions served also to build capacity İn Albania to work with the species at local level, and for communication with local communities. This work has been done under the umbrella of the LIFE + project “The Return of the Neophron”. For more information see http://www.lifeneophron.eu/en/news-view/162.html