During the European Vulture Conference, leading professionals in the field of vulture conservation will come together to share the latest insights of vulture conservation and research. The conference will be Europe’s largest gathering of vulture conservationists, in the beautiful region of Algarve, Portugal, for the first four days of October. One of the renowned experts joining us is Dr Olivier Duriez, who will be discussing his research on flight and foraging decision making of Griffon Vultures.
Dr Olivier Duriez is an expert when it comes to vulture research. His main project concerns Griffon vultures in France, but he is also involved in programmes dealing with the other three species in Europe – Cinereous vultures, Egyptian vultures and Bearded vultures. He specialises in the study of foraging and explorative movement patterns, focusing on how the large-scale daily movements of vultures make them vulnerable to collision threats like wind-farms and power lines. Furthermore, he is particularly interested in understanding how vultures find resources (carcasses of livestock) in a humanly modified environment, and in particular, how supplementary feeding stations may affect their natural behaviour.
You will be able to hear the latest insights about the foraging and explorative movement patterns of vultures first hand at the European Vulture Conference! You will also learn the most recent research of vulture conservation on various topics covering all four vulture species found in Europe.
Flight and foraging decision making in Griffon Vultures
Griffon vultures face many challenges while foraging. Their morphology constrains them to use a soaring-gliding flight, depending on local atmospheric conditions. They must search over extensive areas for carcasses, which are somewhat unpredictable in time and space, even if available at supplementary feeding stations.
Dr Olivier Duriez reviewed the latest discoveries of how vultures cope with these multiple trade-offs, by analysing movement tracks and flight behaviour of individuals tracked by GPS technology in France. Using different experimental techniques, he acquired a deeper understanding of the behaviour of wild vultures, and more specifically foraging decision-making. We are excited to hear more about his findings during his keynote presentation at the European Vulture Conference!
Dr Olivier Duriez has been a lecturer seen 2010 (chair of conservation biology of vertebrates) at the University of Montpellier – Centre for Evolutive and Fonctionnal Ecology (CEFE), France. His current research interests are the impacts of individual behaviours (mainly foraging and movements) on population dynamics of birds, in the scope of conservation biology.
His previous research experience involved fieldwork, lab work, and modelling on various birds (seabirds, waders (woodcock, oystercatcher), grouse, geese and raptors). Besides a long-time personal interest in vultures, he started to work with vultures in 2008, as a post-doc at the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris (with François Sarrazin), about the study of social behaviours and their impact on the population dynamics of Griffon vultures. He is also a consultant in the French National Action Plans for Cinereous vulture, Griffon vulture, Bonelli’s eagle and Lesser Kestrel.
The European Vulture Conference
For four days in October, we will be bringing together scientists, conservationists and the public in Algarve, Portugal for an international congress on vultures. We will be looking at the latest research and conservation studies about vultures in Europe and beyond, in our first European Vulture Conference. On the last day of the conference, we will venture out and explore the local nature. The Algarve is known for its wetlands, woodlands and other habitats that are rich in biodiversity, so get ready for a fantastic day out in nature!
We received many interesting abstracts and are now in the process of finalising the official programme. The conference will host many researchers, scientists and conservation technicians that will cover various topics on vulture conservation. So join us, for a unique opportunity to learn the latest vulture conservation findings and to experience the local wildlife with the expert guides.