Weeks before the expected return of the Egyptian Vultures back to Greece, a workshop was held on the 13th of March in one of the last few areas of the species occurrence in Greece. HOS/BirdLife Greece in collaboration with the Natural History Museum of Serres, situated in the foothills of Mt Menoikio, organized a short workshop addressed to the Regional Unit Authorities and Hunting Organisations.
Lectures were given by the HOS staff, regarding the species and habitats of the SPA “KOILADA TIMIOU PRODROMOU – MENOIKIO” and their conservation, the Egyptian Vulture and the LIFE+ “The return of the Neophron” actions for its’ conservation, the illegal use of poison baits and the actions of the NGO’s Network against their use in Greece, as well as vulture restaurants as a conservation measure for the Egyptian vulture and other carrion eating birds in the area.
The workshop was attended by representatives of the key Authorities involved in the management of the SPA (Forestry Directorate and Forestry Service of Serres), the Director of the Regional Unit Veterinary Authority, members of the Natural History Museum of Serres, the President of the Serres Hunting Association and Wardens and Scientists of the Macedonia – Thrace Hunting Federation.
Egyptian Vultures were considered extinct from the Menoikio Mt, but recently, a pair has recolonized the area, one bird of which is believed to be ringed in Bulgaria as a chick in 2008.
Menoikio Mt used to host also a colony of Griffon vultures, thought to have perished in the 1980s due to poisoning. Poisoning continues to be a constant threat in the wider area of Serres, as the tragic fate of “Lazaros” has proved.
The aim of the Project Team is to prevent any similar incident in the future, by working closely with the local authorities and stakeholders. This event was the beginning of a joint effort to this end.