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Working high above the Rhine towards international species action plans

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Twenty experts and staff from partner organisation, including from the VCF, spent the last two days working together in the UN building in Bonn to advance on The LIFE EUROSAP project, that is now developing or updating Species Action Plans (SAPs) for a total of 16 species, including for the bearded vulture and the cinereous vulture.

The SAPs provide the status, ecology and threats of bird species and are used by the European Commission to undertake the key actions required to improve their conservation status in Europe. SAPS also conditions for effective coordination among the European Commission, EU Member States, the international conventions and non-governmental organisations involved in international bird conservation efforts.

This revision is more than urgent as several species benefiting from SAPs have seen their conservation status deteriorate lately, and/or have very old SAPs – the latter is the case of the bearded vulture, which is covered by a SAP from the end of the 90s, that does not include some of the more recent threats and populations dynamics, including the results from the several reintroduction projects that the VCF is coordinating.

The VCF is managing two of the SAPs for the two vulture species, and has already organised a workshop late last year in Corsica to work on the bearded vulture one.

During the work this year the project steering committee reviewed progress with the project, while with the project scientific committee analysed important issues like SAP format, geographical remit, links with other SAP processes, links with the EU reporting system, and the structure of a SAP tracking tool (a web-based platform to help with the dissemination of information and crucially future mapping of implementation and evaluation of the SAPs).

Thank you to all the colleagues that have devoted their time and expertise – great to be working together for bearded and cinereous vultures! Thank you also for AEWA for hosting us.

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