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Volunteers needed to count Europe’s rarest vulture on International Observation Day Saturday 6 October

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Running since 2006 and organised by by the International Bearded Vulture Monitoring network (IBM)  International Observation Days (IOD) returns and is calling out to all vulture fans to help carry out the annual count of bearded vultures across the Alps, Pyrenees and Andalusia.  

International Observation Days 

The International Observation Days (IOD) for bearded vultures have started in 2006 and takes place during the first fortnight of October with the focal day involving a one-day simultaneous count of bearded vultures across the whole Alpine arc, organised by the International Bearded Vulture Monitoring network (IBM), which we here at the Vulture Conservation Foundation coordinate.  As the population of bearded vultures has grown thanks to conservation efforts to reintroduce the species and better protection for birds the IOD has expanded to include Massif Central in France and Aude in the French Pyrenees and  Andalusia, Spain. 

Why count?

This count allows for a thorough monitoring of the bearded vulture population status and distribution in the Alps. Furthermore, the count produces many sightings of identifiable birds and generates baseline data for conservation scientists to analyise survival rates and model the age structure of the population which will help us understand the impacts of the reintroduction programmes.  

Get involved

The International Observation Days are ambitious and cover five different countries and over the last 12 years could not have been achieved without the help of members of the public. This year’s  simultaneous count is on Saturday 6 October 2018.  All over the Alps, the Massif Central, the department Aude and Andalusia, we are inviting people to get involved, pick up a pair of binoculars, spend the day in the mountains and help us look for bearded vultures and get counting.  

Through our network of organisations such as France’s la Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux in Aude and Spain’s la Fundación Gypaetus in Andalusia and national and regional parks across the Alps from France’s Le Parc national du Mercantour in the west to Austria’s Nationalpark Hohe Tauern in the east, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. Please contact the regional coordinators below if you are interested in participating or contact us for any other question: 


Nationalpark Hohe Tauern – ferdinand.lainer@salzburg.gv.at


Asters Haute-Savoie Conservatory of Natural Areas : etienne.marle@asters.asso.fr

Le Parc national du Mercantour: monique.perfus@mercantour-parcnational.fr

Parc national de la Vanoise : jerome.cavailhes@vanoise-parcnational.fr

Envergures Alpines: christian.couloumy@gmail.com

Parc naturel régional des Grands Causses: lea.giraud@lpo.fr

Parc naturel régional du Vercors: benoit.betton@pnr-vercors.fr

Vautours en Baronnies: gypaete@vautoursenbaronnies.com

Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux de l’Aude: yves.roullaud.aude@lpo.fr


Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio : enrico.bassi76@gmail.com

Aosta: c.chioso@regione.vda.it

Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime: fabiano.sartirana@parcoalpimarittime.it


Fundación Gypaetus: prodriguez@gypaetus.org


Stiftung Pro Bartgeier: franziska.loercher@swild.ch

The IBM is partially funded by their partners, and by funding contributions from the EU LIFE Fund through the LIFE GypConnect and LIFE GypHelp, as well as the MAVA foundation. 

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