After successful releases in Grands Causses and Baronnies, the first of six bearded vultures to be released this year in Andalusia – as part of the reintroduction project there – was released in Cazorla last Thursday.
Before being taken to the hills, the bird – a male bred in captivity in Andalusia´s own captive breeding centre in Guadalentin, was shown to an enthusiastic audience (see photos) in the centre of the village of Bedmar (Jaén) by the local mayor, the central government representative in Jaen, the district head and representatives from the regional ministry of environment, following a morning of activities centered on the species. The young male was named after that village (Bedmar), and is the son of the first bearded vulture born on the Guadalentin center in 2002, named Andalusia.el alcalde de Bedmar, la delegada del gobierno andaluz en Jaén, el presidente de la Diputación de Jaén y el delegado de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio.
el alcalde de Bedmar, la delegada del gobierno andaluz en Jaén, el presidente de la Diputación de Jaén y el delegado de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio.The bearded vulture reintroduction project in Andalusia (Sierras de Cazorla, Segura, Castril and Las Villas), led by the Junta de Andalucia, in collaboration with the VCF, started in 1996, with the first birds being released in 2006 – with Bedmar, a total of 45 birds have now been released there, and the species started to breed again in 2015. This year two pairs of bearded vultures are nesting in the wild, in another remarkable wildlife comeback. The bearded vulture was widespread in the mountains of southern Spain until the 40s, but intense human persecution and widespread poisoning cause it to disappear from southern Iberia. The last confirmed breeding took place in Cazorla in 1983, and in 1986 the last adult also disappeared, but due to the efforts of the Junta de Andalusia, the Fundación Gypaetus and the VCF, the species is now back to southern Spain.
The next release in the area will take place on the 3rd of June, when a bird coming from the specialized captive-breeding centre in Austria will be presented in the Larva municipality and released afterwards.