2021 was a challenging year for all of us, but our work never stopped, and we continued to protect and conserve Europe’s vulture species.
As we count down the days until 2022, we would like to reflect on some of the fantastic results we achieved for Europe’s vultures. Today we focus on Europe’s most social and populous vulture species, discussing Griffon Vulture conservation highlights as well as exciting news.
Achievements and exciting news relating to the Griffon Vulture conservation in 2021:
- 15 Griffon Vultures were successfully transported from Spain to Cyprus for release in 2022, to restock the extremely endangered population (1-2 pairs, 20 individuals) within the LIFE with Vultures project.
- The Griffon Vulture population in the Bulgarian Eastern Rhodopes sustained its positive growth for yet another year, with over 100 pairs and 70 chicks recorded within the scope of LIFE Re-Vultures.
- The Vultures Back to LIFE team counted 140 Griffon Vultures overwintering in the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria – a total of 140 individuals, the highest record since the beginning of the local reintroductions in 2010.
- The BalkanDetox LIFE team equipped 20 Griffon Vultures with GPS transmitters to be used as sentinels for poisoning and established the regional platform for monitoring these tagged birds. This intensive monitoring tool, together with an appropriate response carried out by relevant stakeholders, recently prevented the mass poisoning of 18 Griffon Vultures in the Republic of North Macedonia.
- After the success of LIFE Under Griffon Wings, LIFE Safe for Vultures launched in 2021, another project funded by the EU’s LIFE Programme. The new project aims to reinforce the local Griffon Vulture population and bring the species back to the whole of Sardinia.
- Ecosystem services provided by Griffons Vultures in Cyprus mapped out: 43-61% reduction in both CO2 emissions and transport costs associated with carcass disposal service and €648,000/year in direct tourism revenues.
- The LIFE RE-Vultures project came to an end – over the last five years, this project successfully implemented various conservation actions to conserve Cinereous and Griffon Vultures in the Rhodopes.
- A new study conducted in Spain demonstrated the benefits avian scavengers contribute to people and the need to balance nature conservation and a sustainable economy.
- Livestock breeders and conservationists increased safe food sources for the Griffon Vulture and two other vulture species in the Meteora of the North within the LIFE RE-Vultures project.
Don’t forget that you can track the movements of the Griffon Vultures we follow with GPS tags by visiting our online public maps.
If you want to help vultures during this holidays season, here are three things you can do:
- Please donate to the VCF and help us continue our work protecting vultures
- Sign up to our newsletter to stay updated and for offering to help vultures when such need arises
- Spread the word on social media and pledge to discuss vultures and their importance to three other people this holiday season
Thank you for your support. The Vulture Conservation Foundation team hopes you are healthy and wishes you a very happy new year!