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Restoration of the bearded vulture in Europe – this year’s releases will start soon!

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15 bearded vultures will be released in Andalucía, Grands Causses,Swiss Alps, Parco Alpi Marittime and Hohe Tauern National Park over the nextweeks

This year breeding season in the captive breeding network managed by the VCF has been extremely good, resulting in 26 young. 15 of these will be released in the several on-going bearded vulture reintroduction projects during the next few weeks, namely in Andalucía, Grands Causses (Massif Central, France), and in three sites in the Alps (Melchsee-Frutt – Swiss Alps, National Park Hohe Tauern – Austria and Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime  – Italy).

All birds to be released originate in the bearded vulture captive breeding network (EEP), a fantastic collaborative effort of more than 40 zoos and 5 specialized captive breeding centers. The VCF coordinates the whole process, providing technical support, transporting birds across the network, trying to maximise the establishment of new pairs, improving the husbandry, reducing mortality, and improving breeding productivity.

All this hard work by many people and organisations is now about to produce real conservation outcomes – the release of these chicks is at the base of the successful reintroduction projects, run locally by a number of partner organisations, that are restoring the populations of this species across its former range! The population in the Alps, extinct at the beginning of the 20th century, is now fully re-established and growing well (see here for the last details), while the species has started to breed this year in Andalucía after an absence of more than 30 years (see here for details).

The releases will take place at the following dates and places

Andalucía 16th May – with public event at Paseo del Cristo, Cazorla (Jaén) at 12:00. Please contact prodriguez@gypaetus.org for more details

Grands Causses 18th May – with public presentation of the birds at 10:00 in Nant – please contact raphael.neouze@lpo.fr for more details.

Hohe Tauern National Park (Dorfer Tal, Eastern Tyrol, Austria) 28th May – Please contact h.frey@4vultures.org for more details.

Melchsee-Frutt (Central Switzerland) End of  May – Please contact f.loercher@4vultures.org for more details.

Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime (Italy) 6th June. – Please contact luca.giraudo@parcoalpimarittime.it for more details.

Second release Andalucía Mid June.

Over the next few weeks, we will be also giving further information on all these events – what this space!|

The VCF would like to thank all the many tens of dedicated individuals who have been watching and caring, night and day, for these wonderful vultures – now it is time to see them fly high on the European skies!

(Photo VCF/Sigrid Frey-Kubka)

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