LIFE Aegypius Return

Objectives and Scope

In the long-term, the project aims to secure the favorable conservation status of the Cinereous Vulture in Portugal by improving habitat and foraging conditions, limiting threats, and developing national capacities. 

By the project end in 2027, LIFE Aegypius Return aims to achieve the following objectives:

Double the breeding population in Portugal from 40 pairs in 4 colonies to at least 80 pairs in at least 5 sites

Increase the breeding success in Portugal from 0,38 to 0,5+

Enhance the connectivity between colonies along the Portuguese and Spanish border, making the Portuguese population more sustainable

Improve the conservation status of the Cinereous Vulture in Portugal, downgrading its national status from Critically Endangered to Endangered

Increase the number of pairs and occupied territories in each existing colony

Establish new breeding colonies in Portugal and on the Spanish side of the project area near the Portuguese border

Increase the resilience to climate change, including forest fires, of the wooded areas with breeding colonies or with high potential for nesting

Prevent and mitigate human disturbance that affects the species’ breeding productivity

Increase food availability and quality for Cinereous Vulture in a sustainable way

Improve the knowledge on the impact of contaminants (lead & veterinary drugs) on the species and develop tools to mitigate and regulate them

Reduce mortality caused by electrocution and other threats

Secure the permanent transition to non-lead ammunition in a significant area of the species range in Portugal

Improve capacities to combat and prevent illegal wildlife poisoning in Portugal to mitigate the species main threat

Strengthen the cooperation between Portugal and Spain regarding the conservation of the species

Raise awareness of the general public and key-actors (policymakers, veterinaries, livestock producers, hunters, forest industry, tourism operators and media)

Develop and/or enhance in-country capacity for the sustainable conservation of the Cinereous Vulture and other scavenger species

How will we achieve the project objectives?

Improve breeding success

  • Enhance habitat and make it more resilient to fires
  • Reduce nest disturbance
  • Increase nest availability and safety
  • Reinforce the population

  • Rehabilitate and release Cinereous Vultures
  • Mitigate threats to reduce mortality

    • Improve the knowledge on the impact of contaminants
    • Transition to non-lead ammunition
    • Expand the anti-poisoning programme

    Improve the food base for vultures

  • Improve the management of the vulture feeding stations for Cinereous Vultures
  • Create and mainstream unfenced feeding areas
  • Discover the expertly crafted actions we developed to reach our project objectives and see what we have achieved so far.


    Progress and results

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