A group of five griffon vultures has been tagged with GPS transmitters in the Western Iberia rewilding area in northern Portugal. By shedding new light on the birds’ foraging behaviour, the data collected from the transmitters will support the restoration of natural food chains in the area and underpin the continued comeback of this magnificent species.
Tag: circle of life
Tagged with GPS transmitters, young griffon vultures from the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area continue to make remarkable journeys. As part of the LIFE Vultures project, based in Bulgaria and Greece, such tagging is giving a better understanding of vulture behaviour and aiding in their conservation.
Elitsa Kapushev is a Bulgarian student at the University of Berlin. Visiting an Iranian summer school focused on the environment in August, she chose to present the work of the Rewilding Rhodopes team.
An inaugural grant from the newly established Endangered Landscapes Programme will enable Rewilding Europe and local partners to develop a 120,000-hectare wildlife corridor in the Greater Côa Valley in northern Portugal. By scaling up current rewilding efforts in Western Iberia, this will transform a region with high levels of rural depopulation and species loss into one with new opportunities for both wild nature and people. The 2.6 million euro grant complements another for 2.1 million euros for a record-breaking wetland and steppe restoration project in the Danube Delta.
The GPS tagging of vultures and reintroduction of wild herbivores in the Rhodope Mountains rewilding area is now demonstrating how Rewilding Europe’s Circle of Life approach can really help the comeback of scavengers.
Monitoring of raptor species in the Faia Brava Nature Reserve and Côa Valley Special Protection Area (SPA) shows griffon vultures have made a dramatic return to the Western Iberia rewilding area since the 1990s. This bodes well for ongoing rewilding efforts here.
Boosting rewilding activities through strengthened communications, the new site will showcase the rewilding activities of the Rewilding Rhodopes team to a regional and global audience.
By helping to establish a stable population of deer in the area, the reintroduction will boost biodiversity through natural grazing, help scavenging species such as vultures by increasing the availability of carrion, and raise the profile of the Rhodope Mountains as a prime nature tourism destination.
Reintroduced as part of the LIFE Vultures project, the seven animals will hopefully complete the creation of a stable red deer population in the area. This population will provide an important food source for local scavengers and predators, as well as boosting biodiversity through their grazing.
This year’s final European Rewilding Network webinar, held in December, saw members from eight European countries come together online to discuss and learn the importance of leaving carrion in nature.