Three of the five Egyptian vultures captured and tagged in the Douro valley within the LIFE RUPIS project will be named this month, after a public vote to choose their names. You can vote until the 10th August here
The first two birds have already been named – RUPIS was captured and tagged last year. It is now a 4th year, and has been roaming the area widely. The second bird, names – a female called Poiares, was found weakened and was released after rehabilitation In spite of it being away from the nest, it is breeding on the Portuguese side of the Canyon, and is raising a chick in an old nest that had been vacant in the last few years.
The three birds to be named have been caught in June and July using a using a custom build trap. In June, two birds have been captured and tagged by Lubomir Peske (working for the VCF) and a team from ATN and SPEA in Escalhão – The Britango 1 bird is a male from a breeding pair whose nest is in Spain, on the Águeda valley, but this pair unfortunately failed breeding earlier in the season (probably before the male was caught, during incubation). The Britango 2 bird is a female that is breeding on a cliff on the Spanish side of the Águeda canyon, facing Portuguese territory. They do have 1 young in the nest.
Then on the 19th July, Lubomir and a team from Palombar managed to catch one adult Egyptian vulture at the supplementary feeding point in Bruçó. This bird (Britango 3 in the vote) is a male, and seemingly a 4th year, as it still retained some darker feathers, but the bird is not breeding – it will do so for the first time probably next year.
The tags they carry are providing the project with valuable information about the detailed movement of these individuals. You can follow the movements of all these birds at our website here – https://www.4vultures.org/our-work/monitoring/egyptian-vulture-online-maps/
The LIFE RUPIS project aims to implement actions to strengthen the populations of the Egyptian vulture (and the bonelli´s eagle) at the trans-border Douro, by reducing the mortality of these birds and increasing their breeding success. The Egyptian vulture is the smallest vulture in Europe, and it is classified as “Endangered” – in Europe its populations have declined by 50% over the last 40 years.
The project includes equipping electric lines against electrocution, several actions that aim to minimize the threat of illegal poisoning, targeted management of over 1,000 hectares of important habitats for the species and also the creation of a network of supplementary feeding stations.
The project is implemented by the VCF and partners, including SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal), ATN and Palombar (regional conservation organisations in NE Portugal), the Junta de Castilla y Leon & the Fundación Patrimonio Natural de Castilla Y León, the Portuguese electricity distributor EDP-D, the Portuguese statutory conservation agency ICNF and the Portuguese environmental police force (GNR), and is co-funded by the MAVA Foundation.