Poster Insights from the European Vulture Conference 2023

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 The European Vulture Conference 2023 featured a comprehensive scientific program, showcasing 61 posters that provided a wealth of insights into the diverse realms of vulture ecology and conservation. Attendees had the opportunity to explore an array of topics, including migratory patterns and conservation status, species management, breeding, and recovery efforts, human impact, and more. The conference also facilitated interactive engagement through a dedicated session where authors presented their posters, allowing participants to delve deeper into the intricate details of each study and pose questions. This article presents an overview of the main themes explored during the conference, offering a glimpse into the wealth of knowledge and advancements discussed by experts in the field.

1. Wintering habitats of Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus and Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis in India

Kordian Bartoszuk

The study investigates wintering habitats of globally threatened Egyptian Vultures and Steppe Eagles in India. Five tagged vultures migrated southeast in 2022, with four reaching Rajasthan and one venturing to Pakistan. The researcher located and described their wintering grounds in January 2023, offering valuable insights into habitat and behaviour. A Steppe Eagle tagged in Russia was also found wintering in the area.

2. Status and location of Algerian vulture populations

Hafeda Benmammar Hasnaoui

This study examines the status and distribution of Algerian vulture populations, focusing on Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Rüppell’s Vulture, and Bearded Vulture. Field visits to twelve wilayas confirmed the presence of Griffon, Egyptian, and Rüppell’s vultures. The study reveals favourable conditions for the Egyptian Vulture in Algeria despite regional extinction threats. Rüppell’s Vulture is regularly observed in the western region, and Bearded Vulture reports are rare in the south and north.

3. Conservation and education project, the importance of connections

Fanny Blais

The Puy du Fou, committed to endangered species conservation, emphasizes the significance of its conservation education and public awareness missions. The Academie Junior Nature Fauconnerie engages young volunteers in vulture-focused educational projects, enabling them to actively contribute to vulture conservation while gaining knowledge about species, habitats, and cooperation.

4. Comparative analysis of haemoglobin in healthy adult Cinereous Vultures (Aegypius monachus): establishing reference intervals in captivity

Alicia Carrero Ruiz

This study establishes normal haematological reference intervals for healthy, captive adult Cinereous Vultures (Aegypius monachus) through a comprehensive analysis of parameters. The research evaluates various haemoglobin measurement methodologies, including HemoCue® and i-STAT® Alinity V systems, providing insights into their analytical performance and interrelations in Cinereous Vulture blood.

5. The electrocution case of Bearded Vulture Ortler-BG439 forces us to make progress improving patient management

Antonella Cordedda

This study details the electrocution trauma in Bearded Vulture Ortler-BG439, a 19-year-old female from the Swiss Alps. Despite a 37-day hospitalization involving collaborative efforts, the vulture succumbed to electrocution-related injuries and secondary Aspergillus nidulans lesions. The case underscores the need for improved patient management and discussion on mitigating electrocution risks for this species.

6. Modelling the spatial distribution of the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) in Extremadura (SW Spain)

Elisa Cristo Da Silva Gamero

This study develops a distribution model for the threatened Egyptian Vulture in Extremadura, SW Spain, a critical region for its European recovery. Favourability models, unbiased by presence/absence ratios, are employed, revealing key abiotic and biotic factors influencing vulture distribution. The model aids in identifying areas crucial for conservation efforts and assessing potential impacts of anthropogenic changes on the species.

7. Anticoagulant rodenticides in four species of vultures in Spain and France

David Fernández-Casado

The study examines anticoagulant rodenticide (A.R.) exposure in four vulture species in Spain and France. Of 652 samples, 26.84% showed A.R. presence, with Griffon Vultures and Egyptian Vultures most affected. Brodifacoum was the most detected compound. Vultures’ scavenging diet, especially in rubbish tips, exposes them to A.R.s. The study underscores the need for comprehensive research on the consequences of sublethal intoxications and effective risk mitigation measures.

8. Retrospective study of asphyxia as a cause of mortality in population of Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) in Serbia

Dajana Davitkov

This retrospective study in Serbia investigates asphyxia as a cause of mortality in the Eurasian Griffon Vulture population. Of 29 examined birds, 15 deaths were attributed to asphyxia, including drowning and inflammatory diseases like bronchopneumonia. Protecting Griffon Vultures is crucial for ecosystem function and biodiversity, emphasizing the need for risk identification and elimination.

9. A new breeding area for Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopeturus) in Western Mediterranean: the first pair in Sardinia (Italy)

Davide De Rosa

In a first for Sardinia, an Egyptian Vulture pair successfully bred in 2019. Nest monitoring and feeding station observation revealed two peaks of vulture presence: one in June and a more significant one from late August to early September. Wind direction and time of day influenced their probability of being recorded at the feeding station. The chick fledged in July 2019 and 2020, but breeding was unsuccessful in 2021 and 2022.

10. Habitat preferences of the Euroasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) in Bulgaria to support species management

Dobromir Dobrev

This study in Bulgaria explores the habitat preferences of the Eurasian Griffon Vulture at landscape and cliff scales. Occupied cliffs were longer, higher, and had southern exposure compared to non-occupied ones. The distance to feeding stations was lower for occupied cliffs. Cells with Griffon Vulture colonies had more rocky habitats. Human population density and livestock densities showed no significant differences. The findings aid in the conservation management of Griffon Vulture populations.

11. Modeling breeding habitat suitability of Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) in Bulgaria and conservation planning

Dobromir Dobrev

This study models the breeding habitat suitability of the Eurasian Griffon Vulture in Bulgaria, aiming to identify conservation priorities and suggest management strategies. Historical and contemporary nesting sites and observations were used, with slope being the most significant determinant, contributing 54.7% to the model. Areas with slope values over 400, particularly 500-600, are highly suitable for sustaining Griffon Vulture colonies. Open landscape habitats also contribute significantly to the model. The findings highlight priority areas for conservation efforts.

12. The first recolonisation of the European Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) in Morocco

Rachid El Khamlichi

The Griffon Vulture, once extinct in Morocco, saw recolonization in 2023 with four pairs breeding in the Jbel Moussa protected area. Factors such as the positive population trend in Spain, proximity to Gibraltar colonies, a new feeding station, and the year-round presence of immature vultures contributed to the species’ return to northern Morocco.

13. Scouts vs Usurpers: Alternative foraging strategies facilitate coexistence between Neotropical Cathartid Vultures

Eleanor Flatt

This study explores coexistence strategies in Neotropical Cathartid Vultures, focusing on movement behaviour and foraging strategies. The Greater Yellow-headed Vultures, adapted for low flight and early foraging, arrive first but are displaced by larger King Vultures at larger carrion resources. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for conserving endangered scavengers and preventing ecological disruptions.

14. A retrospective study in admission causes, and outcomes in three species of vultures in the north of Portugal (2005- 2022)

Andreia Garcês

This retrospective study in Northern Portugal investigates admission causes and outcomes for three vulture species: Aegypius monachus, Gyps fulvus, and Neophron percnopterus, at a wildlife rehabilitation centre over 17 years (2005-2022). Unknown causes (57%) and transfers from other centres (23%) were predominant. Most admissions occurred in summer and autumn. Of the 79 admitted vultures, 73% were rehabilitated and released, while 13 died during treatment. The study provides valuable information for these endangered populations in Portugal.

15. Winter census reveals increasing Griffon Vulture population in South of Spain

Jose Rafael Garrido López

The IVth Winter Census in Andalusia, Southern Spain, reveals a 20% increase in the Griffon Vulture population, totaling 17,880 individuals. Sierra Morena and Sierras Beticas show equal distribution. About half are non-adults, mainly concentrated in Sierra Morena. The region hosts 38% of resident vultures and serves as wintering grounds for 7,000 non-adults from diverse European locations. Andalusia’s role in vulture conservation is vital, supported by the Junta de Andalucia’s efforts against poisoning.

16. Reducing Griffon Vulture electrocution mortality in Andalusia, South of Spain

Jose Rafael Garrido López

Since the late 20th century, the Andalusian Regional Government’s environmental department has implemented measures to reduce electrocution mortality of Griffon Vultures in Andalusia, Spain. A database records incidents and facilitates necessary adaptations to power lines. From 1990, 320 electrocution cases were detected, primarily in feeding and wintering areas. Over one-third occurred during post-breeding migration, impacting local and migrating vultures. While electrocution mortality increased in the last two decades, it remains below 5% of overall mortality, not limiting the population. Over four years, efforts to retrofit hazardous power lines stabilized the mortality rate, with 7,000 structures adapted. This coordinated approach, involving data collection, analysis, and infrastructure adaptation, highlights the government’s commitment to Griffon Vulture conservation.

17. Vitamin and mineral supplementation to improve the reproduction of Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) in the Central Pyrenees (Aragon)

Juan Antonio Gil

Between 2020 and 2023, a supplementary feeding program in the Central Pyrenees (Aragon) involved providing 2800 kg of bones with a mineral-vitamin supplement to 10 reproductive units of Bearded Vultures. Samples from 39 eggs and one chick were analyzed, revealing correct intake and assimilation of supplements. This led to improved levels of vitamins A, E, carotenes, calcium, egg and chick size, conversion rates, immunomodulation, stress tolerance, and shell ultrastructural quality, suggesting enhanced hatching and survival rates.

18. Insularity determines nestling sex ratio variation in Egyptian Vulture populations

Guillermo Gómez-López

A 30-year study (1995–2021) on Egyptian Vultures in Spain assessed factors influencing nestling sex ratios, revealing opposite trends between mainland and Canary Islands populations. While no sex bias was found at the population level, mainland populations showed non-significant female bias, while the Canary Islands exhibited a significant male bias, possibly compensating for immature male mortality. Insularity and environmental factors play complex roles in sex ratio variations.

19. Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) as a potential sentinel of human pathogenic cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli

Judith Guitart-Matas

Between 2019 and 2020, a study in Catalonia, NE Spain, found that 38.5% of Griffon Vultures were colonized with cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli (CR E. coli). These vultures, often in contact with livestock and human waste at landfills, carried resistance genes, including CTX-M-15, linked to multidrug-resistant clones with potential human pathogenicity. The vultures may serve as sentinels for antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and environmental contamination at waste disposal sites.

20. Longevity record verified in wild Griffon Vultures: the importance of monitoring supplementary feeding stations for avian scavengers

Iván Gutiérrez

Between 2019 and 2020, 38.5% of Griffon Vultures in Catalonia, Spain, were found to carry cephalosporin-resistant Escherichia coli (CR E. coli). These vultures, often in close contact with livestock and human waste, exhibited resistance genes associated with beta-lactamases, including the CTX-M-15 gene. The study suggests that vultures, particularly those in landfills, may serve as sentinels for assessing antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and environmental contamination from human waste disposal sites.

21. Interspecific competition for nesting sites among scavenger raptors in Extremadura, Spain: Current status and trend

Jose María Guzmán Bolaños

The Griffon Vulture competes with the Egyptian Vulture and Cinereous Vulture for nesting sites in Extremadura, Spain. With 724 occupied platforms, usurpation affects 235 pairs of Cinereous Vulture and 26 pairs of Egyptian Vulture. Griffon Vulture, thriving in the region, emerges as the primary competitor for nesting sites, irrespective of substrate type. This insight into interspecific competition is vital for effective conservation management in this critical breeding area.

22. Monitoring veterinary pharmaceutical residues in livestock carcasses and avian scavengers: new compounds in the spotlight

Marta Herrero Villar

The study in NE Spain found veterinary pharmaceutical residues, including diclofenac, flunixin, and ketoprofen, in livestock carcasses and vulture tissues and plasma. Pharmaceuticals were present in 54.1% of livestock tissues (50.3% antibiotics, 10.8% NSAIDs) and 51.7% of avian scavenger tissues (50.9% antibiotics, 6.0% NSAIDs). Carcass biomass at feeding stations significantly influenced pharmaceutical presence in vulture plasma, emphasizing the need for risk mitigation in scavenger feeding practices.

23. Cinereous Vulture timeline

Marleen Huyghe

The recently published EAZA Best Practice Guidelines for Cinereous Vulture provide crucial information for managing the species in EEP zoos. The “Cinereous Vulture timeline” poster visually summarizes month-by-month management actions, serving as an educational tool and daily reminder for caretakers, ensuring optimal conditions for breeding and conservation efforts.

24. First breeding attempts of Bearded Vultures in the Alto Najerilla Natural Park (La Rioja, Spain)

Juan Ignacio Ibáñez Ulargui

Despite challenges, the Alto Najerilla Natural Park in La Rioja, Spain, witnessed the first breeding attempts of Bearded Vultures in decades. Intensive monitoring efforts revealed nesting, incubation, and unfortunate setbacks, shedding light on the ongoing conservation and recovery efforts for this once-extinct breeder in the region.

25. Monitoring a Cinereous Vulture colony from 2010 to 2022 in Tejo Internacional Natural Park – Portugal

Samuel Infante

Cinereous Vultures returned to breed in Portugal in 2010 after 40 years of extinction, with the Tejo Internacional Erges Ponsul Natural Park becoming a stronghold. Conservation efforts, including artificial nests and supplementary feeding, led to significant growth, reaching 29 breeding pairs in 2022. Challenges like disturbance, hunting, forestry, and poisoning threaten the colony’s success, emphasizing ongoing monitoring and conservation needs.

26. Early development of Cinereous Vultures (Aegypius monachus). Building a photographic archive

Pablo Izquierdo

A photographic archive of the early development of captive-bred Cinereous Vultures, including weight and feather patterns, aids conservation initiatives. This ongoing project contributes valuable insights for field technicians and aviculturists involved in the species’ captive management, improving understanding of their development and supporting conservation efforts.

27. Overview and analysis of mortality causes for the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus in Cyprus

Nikos Kassinis

The Griffon Vulture population in Cyprus faces extinction within 15 years due to frequent poisoning incidents, the leading cause of mortality. Analysis of data from 1996 to May 2023 reveals 70 recorded mortality cases, with 78.6% attributed to poisoning. Systematic recording has started recently, aiding targeted conservation actions against illegal practices threatening the species.

28. Blood chemistry reference intervals for Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus)

Filipa Loureiro

This study establishes blood chemistry reference intervals for Griffon Vultures in Portugal, providing crucial data for diagnosing and monitoring the health of individuals in wildlife rehabilitation and captive breeding programs. Analyzing samples from 2008 to 2022, the calculated reference intervals enhance diagnostic accuracy in clinical practices, emphasizing the need for expanded studies.

29. Reference intervals for serum proteins electrophoresis in Eurasian Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus)

Filipa Loureiro

This study establishes reference intervals for serum protein electrophoresis in Eurasian Griffon Vultures in Portugal, aiding clinicians in assessing the health status of these birds in wildlife rehabilitation. Calculated reference values for total protein, albumin, and various fractions provide a valuable tool for diagnosing and monitoring the health of these vultures.

30. Movements of adult Eurasian Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus during the reproductive season

Félix Martínez

This study tracked 20 adult Griffon Vultures during the reproductive season in central-northern Spain. Within a 50 km radius of the tagging site, 36 breeding events were monitored from 2021 to 2023. Results revealed 19.4% non-breeding, 44.4% breeding failures, and 36.1% successful breeding events. Additionally, insights into non-natural mortality factors, including collisions with power lines, were gained.

31. Use of illegal poison baits in Cyprus: motives, beliefs and level of awareness of local residents within the home range of the Griffon Vulture

Kyriaki Michael

The study investigates the use of illegal poison baits threatening Griffon Vulture conservation in Cyprus. Data from 824 interviews in the vulture’s home range reveal motives rooted in human-human and human-wildlife conflicts related to hunting and livestock breeding. The project aims to raise awareness and identify gaps for more effective community actions.

32. Ranging behavior and resource selection of breeding Cinereous Vultures in a recently restored colony

Davide Montanari

The study assesses the ranging behaviour of breeding Cinereous Vultures in a recently restored colony in the Sierra de la Demanda, Spain, using GPS telemetry. Analyses reveal space use patterns, including home range and core area calculations. The impact of five anthropogenic food sources on vulture behaviour is investigated, offering insights into resource selection.

33. Rewilding and trophic availability scenarios for breeding vulture populations in Portuguese mountainous areas

Antonio Monteiro

The study examines stable breeding vulture populations in Portugal, focusing on Egyptian Vulture, Cinereous Vulture, and Eurasian Griffon Vulture. It explores changing patterns due to factors like reduced livestock, increased wild ungulates, and rewilding. The research analyses trophic availability scenarios, discussing potential impacts on vulture conservation in response to ongoing socioeconomic and ecological shifts.

34. Delving into the study of the survival of a donor population in the king of bones

Inmaculada Navarro Ramírez

The study delves into the survival dynamics of the Bearded Vulture in the Aragonese Pyrenees, a critical population. Using Cormack-Jolly-Seber models over 33 years, survival rates were estimated at 0.91±0.10 for juveniles, 0.94±0.05 for subadults, and 0.88±0.11 for adults. Positive trends indicate improved survival, offering vital insights for conservation strategies. Monitoring at supplementary feeding points needs careful consideration for equal coverage across age classes and aligning with the species’ philopatric behaviour.

35. Restoring the sky: an Initiative for vulture reintroduction in Romania

Raluca Nicolae

Vultures, once abundant in Europe, faced decline due to habitat loss, food scarcity, persecution, and poisoning. Reintroduction efforts aim to revive European vulture populations, crucial for ecological balance. Historical extinction of four vulture species in Romania prompts a comprehensive plan, including feasibility assessment, partnerships, captive breeding, strategic releases, and monitoring for successful conservation.

36. Nocturnal feeding in a diurnal, large soaring scavenger: behavioural flexibility bears some risks

Giancarlo Opramolla

Nocturnal feeding in Griffon Vultures, typically diurnal scavengers, was observed in the central Apennines, Italy. This behaviour, likely a response to intraspecific competition, occurred in 2.6% of monitored provisions at a feeding station and during 10% of surveyed naturally-occurring carrions. While a smaller number participated in night feeding, human disturbance and sheepdogs posed risks.

37. Aerial Landscape Genetics: Environmental drivers of dispersal patterns in the Andean Condor

Julián Padró

This study explores the aerial landscape genetics of Andean Condors (Vultur gryphus) in Argentina. Gene flow is influenced by landscape features like valleys, steep slopes, and wind patterns. A connectivity corridor along the Andean range is identified, emphasizing the need for comprehensive conservation plans considering complex spatial and temporal habitat requirements.

38. Exposure to POPs in Griffon and Cinereous Vultures in Spain

Natalia Pastor Tiburón

In Spain, Griffon and Cinereous Vultures face significant exposure to persistent organic compounds (POPs), including PAHs, OCPs, PCBs, and BDEs. Analysis of 300 blood samples from 2017-2021 revealed over 95% of individuals with detectable residues. Cinereous Vultures showed higher exposure to organochlorines, while Griffon Vultures had elevated PAH levels. Despite legal restrictions, these environmental contaminants pose a risk to vulture survival.

39. The influence of landfills on the ranging behavior of juvenile Cinereous Vultures from the reintroduced colonies in the Pyrenees and the Iberian System

Iván Peragón

Juvenile Cinereous Vultures from the Monachus Project’s reintroduction programmes in the Pyrenees exhibit increasing visits to landfills, posing concerns due to potential exposure to toxins and threats like power lines. This study explores the impact of landfills on vulture movements and suggests a link to rising juvenile mortality in the restored colony.

40. Cinereous Vulture’s (Aegypius monachus) welfare in a breeding centre: activity budget, behaviour analysis and use of space

Margarida Plácido

The Cinereous Vulture, a globally near-threatened species, is crucial for conservation efforts. Assessing welfare in breeding centres is vital, and we proposed a remote methodology using behaviour analysis and space use. Our study at Zoo Planckendael (Belgium) established an activity budget as a potential standard, revealing irregularities and suggesting enclosure improvements for enhanced reproductive success and species conservation.

41. Investigating the main mortality reasons of the European Red Kite population by high-resolution GPS telemetry tracking

Rainer Raab

The LIFE EUROKITE project aims to mitigate anthropogenic threats to the European Red Kite. Using high-resolution GPS telemetry tracking across 14 European countries, it revealed that out of 975 deaths, 355 were attributed to human activities, notably poisoning, collision, electrocution, and shooting. Integrated Step-Selection Function analysis provided valuable insights for species-specific probability assessment, emphasizing the need for comprehensive, Europe-wide data to inform effective conservation measures.

42. Using GPS data to study Vulture feeding ecology in the Greater Côa Valley

Pedro Ribeiro

Between 2019 and 2021, GPS tracking of eight Griffon Vultures and two Cinereous Vultures in Portugal’s Greater Côa Valley revealed crucial insights into vulture foraging behavior. Feeding events were identified using accelerometer data, indicating 70% occurred in open areas. Brownian Bridge Movement modeling highlighted significant utilization areas, aiding rewilding strategies and conservation planning.

43. Environmental impact studies as contributors for scientific species knowledge: vultures, a case study

Vanessa Rodrigues

Environmental impact studies, particularly from increased energy infrastructure development, provide valuable data for species knowledge, with a focus on vultures in Portugal. Vantage points and GIS mapping revealed the distribution and abundance of Griffon and Cinereous Vultures. Conservation companies can benefit from such data to enhance the quality of their interventions.

44. GPS-tracked vultures as a tool for improving carcass management and biodiversity conservation in Portugal

Jorge Rodríguez-Pérez

GPS tracking of 12 Griffon Vultures in northeastern Portugal between March 2020 and May 2021 provided insights into carcass availability and compliance with livestock carcass disposal regulations. While 69 feeding events were confirmed, 55.2% of carcasses were found at unauthorized dumping sites, highlighting non-compliance with existing regulations and the potential for improved biodiversity conservation with proper enforcement.

45. The efforts of Parco Natura Viva for conservation of vultures: the Sarcogyps calvus project

Camillo Sandri

Parco Natura Viva’s conservation efforts for the Critically Endangered red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus) involved successful artificial incubation and hand-rearing. In a groundbreaking development, the first-ever hatching occurred naturally when parents were allowed to rear the chick, marking a significant achievement in zoo-based conservation for this critically endangered species.

46. Metronidazole induced neurotoxicity in a Eurasian Griffon Vulture – a case report

Roberto Sargo

A Eurasian Griffon Vulture, treated with IV metronidazole for debilitation, experienced seizures and neurotoxicity. Suspicion arose when the bird convulsed during metronidazole administration, prompting cessation. The vulture recovered after discontinuation, highlighting potential metronidazole neurotoxicity in this species and underscoring the need for pharmacological studies for accurate treatment protocols.

47. Management of a thoracic vertebral fracture in a Eurasian Griffon Vulture

Roberto Sargo

A second-year Eurasian Griffon Vulture with a T2 vertebral fracture was conservatively managed, involving IV fluid therapy, meloxicam, cage rest, and physiotherapy. The vulture showed improvement, ultimately leading to successful release into the wild almost three years later. This case underscores the potential for conservative treatment in certain vertebral fractures in vultures.

48. Implementing Vulture Safe Zones: lessons from Southern Africa

Lovelater Sebele

In southern Africa, Vulture Safe Zones (VSZ) aim to protect vultures from various threats, including poisoning, collisions, and habitat loss. BirdLife partners established VSZ in private game farms, dairy farms, and communal land, engaging landowners and communities. Guidelines ensure consistent standards across diverse land use types, promoting vulture conservation.

49. Body temperature of Lappet-faced Vulture’ nestlings Torgos tracheliotus in the natural environment

Mohammed Shobrak

Lappet-faced Vulture nestlings in a desert environment face extreme temperatures up to 65°C. Body temperature (Tb) was studied using temperature-sensitive radios and data loggers. Data loggers revealed significant daily Tb variations (35.1–42.3°C), indicating adaptability to harsh conditions and providing insights into survival strategies in extreme climates.

50. Poisoning in three vulture species in Extremadura (Spain) 2002-2022

Francisco Soler Rodriguez

From 2002-2022, poisoning impacted vulture species in Extremadura, Spain. Analyses of Griffon and Black Vultures revealed poisoning in 35.88%, primarily due to carbamate and organophosphate pesticides (carbofuran, chlorfenvinphos, aldicarb). Brain acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition was noted in 22 cases. Egyptian Vultures showed a 50% poisoning rate, mainly with carbofuran.

51. Behavioral observation as tool to improve the knowledge of lesser known vulture species

Caterina Spiezio

The critically endangered red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus) at Parco Natura Viva zoo exhibited an incubation period of 54 to 57 days, differing from previous reports. Artificial and natural incubation methods were successful. A behavioural study was initiated, highlighting the role of ex-situ conservation in enhancing understanding of species biology and behaviour.

52. Dead serious: 40 years of vulture monitoring in Serengeti National Park

Katherine Steinfield

Over 40 years, Serengeti National Park vulture populations, essential for ecosystems, have shown significant declines, particularly since the 1990s, indicating global vulture vulnerability. Proximity to the park boundary didn’t correlate with vulture abundance, emphasizing the broader challenges faced by African vultures even in well-managed protected areas.

53. Status of vulture populations on the island of Mallorca, (Spain) and measures for their conservation

Evelyn Tewes

The paper provides insights into the status and conservation efforts for three vulture species on Mallorca: Black Vulture, Griffon Vulture, and Egyptian Vulture. The Black Vulture population has grown from one pair in the 80s to 45 today, while Griffon Vultures, naturally colonizing since 2008, now have 25 breeding pairs. The Egyptian Vulture, rare on the island, maintains two breeding territories. Conservation actions by the Mediterranean Wildlife Foundation are outlined.

54. First African White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) tagged with GPS transmitter in Europe: preliminary results

Carlos Torralvo

On 3 December 2021, the first African White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) was GPS-tagged in Europe by ornithologists from the Migres Foundation. The juvenile vulture, a rare vagrant to Europe, traveled extensively across the western Iberian Peninsula, establishing activity centers in Andalusia, Extremadura, and Portugal. This tagging provides crucial insights into the behavior of sub-Saharan vulture species occasionally found in the Western Palearctic, opening new perspectives for their conservation amid global change.

55. Eskisehir Zoo Egyptian Vulture monitoring project

Mehmet Ugur Altuncu

Eskişehir Zoo initiated a monitoring project for Egyptian Vultures, attaching satellite transmitters to individuals like Midas, Frig, and Doğa. Doğa covered an impressive 39,564 km from April 27th, 2022, to May 14th, 2023, while Midas flew 32,056 km from April 23rd, 2022, to May 14th, 2023. This project aims to understand habitat requirements, nesting success factors, and migration routes for effective conservation efforts.

56. Dogs in the service of the biodiversity of Greece: the new Antipoison Canine Units of the Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency (N.E.C.C.A.)

Dimitrios Vavylis

Trained dogs play a crucial role in combating poisoning threats to vultures in Greece, where illegal poison baits persist. The Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency (N.E.C.C.A.) established the Antipoison Canine Units (A.C.U.), deploying seven specially trained dogs across key areas. This initiative, a first for Greece, enhances wildlife protection.

57. Mallorca has the biomass to hold three times the current population of vultures

Carlota Viada Sauleda

In the Balearic Islands, vulture populations, including Aegypius monachus, Gyps fulvus, and Neophron percnopterus, have significantly recovered since the 1980s. The Balearic Islands Government, through SEO/BirdLife, assessed the trophic capacity of Mallorca in 2022, finding resources capable of sustaining three times the current vulture population. Menorca’s Neophron percnopterus population depends on maintaining good rabbit densities.

58. Monitoring of necrophagous bird population in Extremadura and its management

Ángel Sánchez

Extremadura, a key region for necrophagous birds, hosts significant populations of Cinereous Vulture, Griffon Vulture, and Egyptian Vulture. While Black Vulture populations in the region have notably grown, the Egyptian Vulture faces a decline in breeding pairs. Conservation efforts, including habitat management and monitoring, are crucial for these endangered species.

59. Carrion birds and energy transition in Extremadura (SW Spain): state of the situation

Ángel Sánchez

The study examines the interplay between energy transition and carrion birds in Extremadura, Spain. It assesses food input to artificial feeding stations, mortality in power lines and wind farms, and maps the capacity for wind farm projects. Strategies involve census data, collision risk analysis, and mitigation measures such as signposting high-risk areas for birds.

60. Evaluation of recent exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides in Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) sampled in two supplementary feeding stations in southeastern of Spain

A.J. García-Fernández

The study assesses recent exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) in Griffon Vultures at feeding stations in Alcoy and Lorca, Spain. Blood samples from 95% of vultures showed measurable AR levels, with 35% positive for first-generation ARs and 92.5% for second-generation ARs, indicating potential illegal use and exposing scavenger and predatory species.

61. New population integrated models reveal the factors involved in the exceptional increasing of an Egyptian Vulture population

Joan Real

Integrated Population Models were employed to analyze the exceptional increase in the Egyptian Vulture population in Catalonia, contrasting with declines in neighboring populations. Large adult survival, possibly due to mortality mitigation measures like retrofitting power lines, emerged as a key factor in the population’s recent growth, supplemented by ongoing immigration.

Conference photos by © Hansruedi Weyrich

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