Tagging of one of the last remaining Egyptian vultures in the Balkans

04.06.2015

Who would think that trapping a bird is a difficult task? People have been doing it for hundreds, even thousands of years now, for food, for their colourful plumage, for their melodious songs... However, it would seem that they hadn’t been trying to trap an adult Egyptian vulture in its breeding territory. For the last three years, HOS field team had set out to achieve this apparently easy mission in different areas of Greece but with no success. Until now. Against all odds – with less than 15 pairs left in the country, statistics obviously weren’t in their favour! -, last week the field team trapped an adult male in the area of Konitsa (Western Greece).

The trapping site had been carefully prepared for over a month: a small hide had been concealed among the trees, the trap had been set and camouflaged, and trap cameras had been installed to follow the comings and goings of Egyptian vultures and other birds around the site. Once it was confirmed the site was being frequently visited by the vultures, the actual trapping started. Nothing could go wrong if the team wanted to safely trap a bird! And then the day arrived when all the right conditions neatly fell into place and... bang! It was a magnificent adult male! The team decided to call him Aoos, the name of the main river in the area where it was trapped.

Biometric measurements were taken and a satellite transmitter was fitted on Aoos back. Thanks to this transmitter we will be able to follow all his movements both here in its breeding area as well as on its way back to Africa, and discover which route will the experienced adult take: the safer but longer route all the way around Turkey, or the shorter but more dangerous one over the Mediterranean? Many other mysteries will surely be revealed due to the transmitter such as where exactly does this bird nest, but also, what threats does he face in order to survive.

All this information will help the project team decide better management and conservation actions that will hopefully help to save this species from extinction in Greece and the Balkans.

Tagging of a satellite tramsmitter to Aoos in Epirus, Greece
Trapping Aoos in Epirus, Greece
The HOS team that trapped Aoos
Back
Useful information
One more Egyptian Vultures family can be watched online

One more Egyptian Vultures family can be watched online

New scientific paper for the first documented case of the killing of an Egyptian Vulture for belief-based practices in Western Africa

New scientific paper for the first documented case of the killing of an Egyptian Vulture for belief-based practices in Western Africa