Finally Egyptian vulture Poiares goes to Africa too

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The female Poiares did exactly what the other 4 had done – flew south from the Douro, and spent the first night in Spanish Extremadura, west of Cáceres, a favoured stopover area for our Egyptian vultures. It then spent the second night near the Parque Natural de los Alcornocales, north of the strait of Gibraltar (see maps) – some of the other birds reached Morocco already on the second day.

Poiares is the female found weakened in Poiares village, that was quickly rehabilitated and released (see photo), and that managed to continue to raise its chick on the Portuguese side of the valley.

The other four adult Egyptian vultures captured and tagged this summer within the LIFE RUPIS project are all travelling south – they are all probably crossing the Sahara desert, as we stopped receiving their signals several days ago – there is no GSM coverage in that region of the world, and we hope they reappear in Mali or Mauritania sometime soon.

All the 5 birds are equipped with a GPS tag that have been providing the project with valuable information about their detailed movement.

You can follow the movements of all these birds at our website here –

The LIFE RUPIS project aims to implement actions to strengthen the populations of the Egyptian vulture (and the bonelli´s eagle) at the trans-border Douro, by reducing the mortality of these birds and increasing their breeding success. The Egyptian vulture is the smallest vulture in Europe, and it is classified as “Endangered” – in Europe its populations have declined by 50% over the last 40 years.

The project includes equipping electric lines against electrocution, several actions that aim to minimize the threat of illegal poisoning, targeted management of over 1,000 hectares of important habitats for the species and also the creation of a network of supplementary feeding stations.

The project is implemented by the VCF and partners, including SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal), ATN and Palombar (regional conservation organisations in NE Portugal), the Junta de Castilla y Leon & the Fundación Patrimonio Natural de Castilla Y León, the Portuguese electricity distributor EDP-D, the Portuguese statutory conservation agency ICNF and the Portuguese environmental police force (GNR), and is co-funded by the MAVA Foundation.

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