“Go an extra kilometer for the Egyptian vulture”

25.09.2017
The WWF Greece actively supports the Egyptian vulture (L. Kapsalis/WWF Greece)

The autumn is here, thus the Egyptian vultures have started their long journey to reach Africa which is an ultimate effort of survival. They need to cover around 5000 km of very tough route which demands the best physical condition. Particularly, the migration is hard for juveniles as it is their first journey, very often without an adult custody, flying for 35 days with an average distance of 172 km per day to accomplish the final scope. There are many natural obstacles such as seas that make the journey more challenging resulting in a bird exhaustion when there is a need of spending much more energy due to lack of thermals over open water. Beside on the way, the Egyptian vultures encounter many threats from electrocution, poisoning to poaching what results in the population decline, mentioning that in Greece there are only five pairs left.
This Sunday, the WWF Greece team decided to support the Egyptian vultures in their migration journey, participating in a race organized in Alexandroupoli. Running represents an athletic attempt where very often the human body, mind and soul are tested to their limits, thus it might be compared to the migration effort. The team was divided on three age classes: adult, immature and juvenile Egyptian vultures that run 10 km, 5 km and 800 m respectively. The adults as the most experienced birds migrate faster using "safe route" avoiding open waters. The immatures prepare themselves to get to "the mature stage of life", gathering crucial knowledge and skills while travelling. Furthermore, the juveniles as the least experienced are the most threaten, fortunately they may possibly find adult Egyptian vultures on their way which can safely guide them to the winter grounds. All the «Runners-Egyptian vultures» crossed the finish line harmless what we wish also to our birds!!
The race was a good opportunity to get the Egyptian vulture survival race familiar to people of two prefectures, Evros and Rhodope showing them how in a very active way somebody can contribute to this demanding work of the species conservation and survival.
Are you encouraged to go a kilometer for the Egyptian vulture?

The support team of the “Runners-Egyptian vultures” (L. Kapsalis/WWF Greece)
The “adult Egyptian vultures” on the route of 10 km (L. Kapsalis/WWF Greece)
The “immature Egyptian vultures” on the route of 5 km (L. Kapsalis/WWF Greece)
The “juvenile Egyptian vulture” together with its adult “guide” on the route of 800 m (L. Kapsalis/WWF Greece)
All Egyptian vultures on the final destination (L. Kapsalis/WWF Greece)
Presenting the action in media (L. Kapsalis/WWF Greece)
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