Following a gruelling trip from Corsica to Andalusia, the young bearded vulture – or altore in Corsican – has been successfully adopted last weekend by a pair of conspecifics in the Guadalentín bearded vulture captive breeding unit, managed by the Junta de Andalucía and the Fundación Gypaetus.
The chick had hatched on the 18th of March from an egg taken from a nest in the Asco valley, laid by a wild pair that had not bred successfully for the last 10 years – an operation included in an emergency action plan to save this highly threatened island subpopulation, now numbering only 3 or 4 pairs.
The young altore was adopted by a foster female in Guadalentín that was rearing a chick more or less of the same age – prior to the adoption, this chick was removed and given to a foster pair which is now rearing two chicks.
The young altore will be kept in the bearded vulture captive breeding network – managed by the VCF – to establish a Corsican genetic reserve, but later this year two young will be released in Corsica to boost numbers.
Captive-bred bearded vultures used in reintroduction projects should be raised naturally by adult breeding pairs, so hand-raising is avoided.
This is the first time ever that this operation and method is tried with a Corsican wild egg and hatching.
The emergency action plan to save the Corsican bearded vultures is being implemented in partnership with the Parc Naturel Regional de Corse, and is partly funded by the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco and the Fondació Barcelona Zoo.
Photos: Fundación Gypaetus