Do you want to support the conservation and monitoring efforts of Europe’s rarest vulture species? Join us for the International Observation Days (IOD) and help us count Bearded Vultures in Europe on Saturday, 8 October 2022. This citizen science event count on the participation of volunteers since their observations contribute valuable data, which helps monitor the species population in Europe.
International Observation Days for Bearded Vultures
The International Observation Days for Bearded Vultures started in 2006 and are organised by the International Bearded Vulture Monitoring Network (IBM), coordinated by us here at the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF). It takes place for a week in October with a single focal day, where members of the public join Bearded Vulture experts and experienced bird watchers to carry out simultaneous and coordinated surveys. Initially, the surveys covered the Alpine arc following the Bearded Vulture reintroduction project in the region. As the population has grown thanks to increasing conservation and reintroduction efforts, the IOD has expanded to include the Massif Central in France, Aude in the French Pyrenees, and Andalusia and Maestrazgo in Spain. It also includes Bulgaria, where there are no Bearded Vultures yet, but there are plans to bring the species back to the country and the wider region.
Why is counting Bearded Vultures important?
This count allows for thorough monitoring of the Bearded Vulture population status and distribution in almost the full distribution range. Furthermore, the count produces many sightings of identifiable birds, and it generates baseline data for conservation scientists to analyze survival rates and model the age structure of the population, which will help us understand the impacts of the reintroduction programmes.
The IOD is an ambitious conservation initiative that brings together hundreds of volunteers and experts to search the skies for Europe’s rarest vulture across seven countries in the following regions: the Alps, the Massif Central in France, Aude in the French Pyrenees, Andalusia and Maestrazgo in Spain and Bulgaria. It cannot be achieved without the help of the public! This year’s simultaneous count is taking place for the 17th consecutive time on Saturday, 8 October 2022. We are inviting people to get involved, pick up a pair of binoculars, spend the day in the mountains, help us look for Bearded Vultures and get counting.
Through our network of organizations and IBM partners, 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 questions:
Nationalpark Hohe Tauern: email@example.com
Green Balkans: firstname.lastname@example.org
Asters Haute-Savoie Conservatory of Natural Areas: email@example.com
Le Parc national du Mercantour
Haut Var: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roya Bevera: email@example.com
Parc national de la Vanoise: firstname.lastname@example.org
Envergures Alpines: email@example.com; Dauphiné: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parc naturel régional des Grands Causses: email@example.com
Parc naturel régional du Vercors: firstname.lastname@example.org
Vautours en Baronnies: email@example.com
Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime: email@example.com
Junta de Andalusia (Andalusia and Castilla y León): firstname.lastname@example.org
Stiftung Pro Bartgeier
Central Switzerland: email@example.com
Eastern Switzerland (Graubünden) firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern Switzerland (Tessin): email@example.com
North-Western Switzerland (Bern) firstname.lastname@example.org
South-Western Switzerland (Valais + Western Switzerland): email@example.com
ZnAlp & LBV (NP Berchtesgaden, Allgäu): firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Use #CountingBeardedVultures on social media and help raise awareness about this magnificent species!