Spain is home to Europe’s best variety of vultures

Photo of Angeles Muñoz, the mayor of Marbella. Credit: [email protected]_Marbella

THE northern Catalan / Pyrenees area of Spain is the only place in Europe where four species of vulture are present and nesting according to new studies.

A project carried out by the conservation team at Monachus Group has successfully brought the Black Vulture back into the area with a careful rehabilitation of the surrounding conditions.

The reintroduction of the Black Vulture adds to the area’s Fawn Vultures, Lammergyer and Egyptian Vultures which are already nesting and thriving in the Boumont Reserve in Lerida.

The project started in 2007 after environmentalists noticed a dramatic reduction of the Black Vulture population.

They constructed specific nesting platforms to encourage the birds to initiate breeding and also created feeding points to help make the scavenging of inexperienced young vultures much easier.

Black vultures are a purely scavenger birds, only able to feed on the dead and decaying meat from animal carcasses. Only in certain cases where the animal is weak or ill will they feed on live prey.

There are currently around 60 birds and around 20 breeding pairs in the area. “Around 30 birds ensure a colony is safe, and around 40 means the birds are actively breeding successfully,” said Ernesto Alvarez, President of Fauna Rehabilitation Group GREFA.

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