By John Smith • 26 October 2021 • 18:01
Searching for black vultures
Credit: Balearic Government
A NEW census of black vultures in Mallorca is underway, 13 years after the last count which recorded 124 specimens.
Around 70 volunteers have agreed to take part and were out with binoculars and cameras at 15 observation points in the Serra de Tramuntana (from Pollensa to Calvia) and two more on the Llevant peninsula, where vultures are becoming more frequent.
Ornithologists from across the island took part and access to many areas which are private property was agreed with the owners to ensure as detailed a study as possible as although the Ministry of the Environment and Territory carries out an annual census of breeding pairs, it does not include young or single birds.
Once the census has been carried out, the photographs will be analysed and statistical analysis techniques will be applied to calculate the number of different specimens that make up the black vulture population of the Mallorcan skies.
The black (also known as cinereous) vulture (Aegypius monachus) is listed as Vulnerable in the Balearic Islands, but in addition, data will be collected on the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), which is also protected
Vultures play a very important role in nature by removing tons of bones and meat, acting almost as natures garbage dump.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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