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life support

Securing a future for Griffon vultures in Croatia

LIFE SUPport project logo
Project periodJanuary 2023 – December 2027
Project areaKvarner islands, Učka and Ćićarija in Croatia
Target speciesGriffon Vulture

Once widespread across the mainland in Croatia, the Griffon Vultures' breeding grounds have dwindled to a few at Kvarner Islands due to habitat loss, poisoning, and food scarcity. The remaining population, estimated at 110-130 pairs, breeds uniquely on sea cliffs, a rare phenomenon for the species.

The LIFE SUPport project is an urgent response to these challenges, aimed at securing a sustainable future for Griffon Vultures in Croatia. By addressing the critical threats of nest disturbance, lack of food, poisoning, and electrocution, the project seeks to stabilize and eventually increase the vulture population.

This effort is crucial for reconnecting the Croatian vulture population with those in the Alps and Balkans, thereby enhancing genetic diversity and resilience.


The project team not only targets immediate threats but through comprehensive conservation strategies, it also aims to create a foundation for the long-term recovery and expansion of Griffon Vultures across their historical ranges.

With funding from the European Union’s LIFE programme, the LIFE SUPport project team aspires to ensure that these vital birds continue to soar over Croatia’s landscapes, playing their essential role in the ecosystem.


To reduce nestling mortality, the project will minimize nest disturbances through enhanced monitoring and protection measures. Additionally, the Beli Rescue Center for Griffon Vultures will intensify its rescue and rehabilitation operations, helping injured or orphaned chicks to receive timely and effective care. This action aims to increase survival rates of young vultures and boost the population’s stability and growth potential.

Rescuing Griffon Vultures that fell in the sea in Croatia © Beli Visitor Centre and Rescue Centre for Griffon Vultures
Rescuing Griffon Vultures that fell in the sea in Croatia © Beli Visitor Centre and Rescue Centre for Griffon Vultures


Preventing vulture poisoning involves exploring and promoting the best preventive measures, such as discouraging the use of poisoned baits and advocating for lead-free ammunition among hunters. The project will also focus on capacity building for relevant enforcement agencies to combat illegal wildlife poisoning effectively. 

Croatia team during practical exam © Antonio Atienza Fuerte


The project aims to reduce electrocution mortality by identifying and mitigating the most dangerous hotspots for vultures. This includes collaborating with utility companies to apply bird-safe designs and technologies to power lines and poles in critical areas. 

Monitoring power lines at Cres in Croatia to prevent electrocution


Raising awareness involves educating local stakeholders, the wider public, and government bodies about the importance of Griffon Vultures and the threats they face. The project will use various outreach methods, including workshops, media campaigns, and educational programmes, to promote vulture conservation and garner widespread support for vultures and the project actions.

LIFE Support group photo at EU sanitary workshop in Croatia

The LIFE SUPport project (LIFE21-NAT-HR-LIFE-SUPport/101074212) is co-financed by the LIFE programme of the European Union. The project duration is 5 years, from January 2023 to December 2027. The total budget is €2,159,590, with the European Union contributing €1,295,751.

The opinions expressed in the news are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the grant provider can be held responsible for them.

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