LIFE Aegypius Return
Consolidating and expanding the Cinereous Vulture population in Portugal and Western Spain
The Cinereous Vulture in Portugal and Spain through the years
20th CenturyFormerly widespread in Iberia, the Cinereous Vulture was becoming increasingly scarce in the region over the 20th Century due to habitat loss, wildlife poisoning and direct persecution.
1970sThe species is in trouble. The Cinereous Vulture breeding population went extinct in Portugal, and only around 200 pairs remained in Spain in 1973.
From the late 1980s onwardsCinereous Vulture numbers start recovering in Spain following the implementation of legal protection and targeted conservation measures.
2010The Cinereous Vulture naturally recolonises Portugal four decades following its extinction when birds from nearby Spanish breeding colonies began to nest there thanks to the expansion of the population in Spain and after conservation actions improved conditions for scavenging birds in Portugal.
2022The number of Cinereous Vulture pairs increased to 40 in Portugal, but the population and breeding colonies remain fragile, and the recolonisation process is too slow and limited. Urgent action is needed.
LIFE Aegypius Return launched in 2022 to consolidate, enhance and accelerate the return of Cinereous in Portugal and Western Spain using a transnational and multidisciplinary approach.
Objectives and Scope
The long-term project objective is to secure a favourable conservation status for the Cinereous Vulture in Portugal.
Double the breeding population in Portugal from 40 to 80 pairs
Increase breeding success
Downgrade national status from Critically Endangered to Endangered
Enhance the connectivity between colonies
The project team strives to achieve the project objectives by improving the Cinereous Vulture's habitat and foraging conditions,reinforcing the population, limiting threats and developing national capacities across ten Natura 2000 sites along almost the entire Spanish-Portuguese border.
Funder and Partners
LIFE Aegypius Return: tagging the first wild-hatched Cinereous Vulture chicks in Portugal and the results of the second partners’ meeting
Between 20-22 June, partners of the LIFE Aegypius Return project met at …
LIFE Aegypius Return: the first Cinereous Vulture chicks hatched, and one new nest was confirmed in Malcata Nature Reserve (Portugal)
Good news from the Cinereous Vulture colony (Aegypius monachus) in the Malcata …
Joining forces: The importance of academic and non-academic conservationists working together for vulture conservation
Academic and non-academic collaboration is key in addressing complex conservation challenges. The European …
Banning lead ammunition in Portugal: Conference organised by the LIFE Aegypius Return project partners at the largest hunting fair in the country
Since February 2023, national authorities all over Europe have been working on …