First Egyptian vulture captured and tagged in the Douro valley!

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Some days ago a team from Junta de Castilla y Leon, Fundación de Patrimonio Natural, the Spanish Ministry of Environment and Agriculture (MAGRAMA) and the VCF has succeeded in capturing and tagging an Egyptian vulture on the Spanish side of the Douro valley (Parque Natural de los Arribes del Duero (Zamora), as part of the LIFE RUPIS project.

This was the second catching attempt, after an earlier session in early April. The aim is to equip some adult Egyptian vultures with satellite tags, so we can obtain information on their foraging movements in the breeding area and also identify possible threats or dangerous spots. The Douro Canyon has more than 110 pairs of Egyptian Vulture.

The capturing session required large doses of patience, as they include waiting long hours inside a hide to see if birds come to previously baited areas where special trap nets were carefully installed. Adult Egyptian vultures were present most days and could be observed many times.  Capturing adult Egyptian vultures is notoriously difficult.

But this time – success!!! After a couple of days waiting, a bird was trapped! The first bird captured in the project – a 3rd year – has been named Rupis – the same as the project. It was equipped with an Ecotone GPS-GSM-UHF tag, that should last for the nest 2 years. You can check his movements here:

So far, Rupis made only some local movements, across the border. This week another team is trying to capture more birds on the Portuguese side of the border – we will keep you updated!

The VCF would like to thank the team from Parque Natural de los Arribes del Duero & MAGRAMA who lead on this capture event.

Photos: José Jambas/LIFE RUPIS

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