Griffon Vultures come to Polop

Griffon Vulture in flight Credit: Ivan Larin:

First in years colony of griffon vultures have been discovered in Polop de la Marina.

Councillor for the Environment, Rosana Berenguer said “they are here. They are such a thing. Three adults and two chicks”.

One bird is in a recovery centre, having been discovered to be suffering from malnutrition.

Councilwoman Rosana Berenguer highlighted the good work done by what she called our “tireless Rural Guard”.

Spain is home to around 17,000 pairs of Griffon Vultures. That sounds like a healthy amount, but it is thought is that this figure accounts for approximately 75% of the Griffon Vulture population worldwide.

The wingspan of an adult bird is almost three metres, and they can live for over 30 years. Young birds take up to six years to mature.

In recent years, changes to the laws concerning the disposal of animal carcasses have made life harder for these birds.

Their role in the ecosystem is that of waste disposal, as they clear up carrion, but there is not as much food for them now. Carcasses are disposed of mechanically, in an effort to contain diseases of livestock and more malnourished birds are being found.

Scientific studies are now showing that the health of an ecosystem is strongly influenced by a variety of species, so the discovery of these birds living closer to the coast is good news for the environment.

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Written by

Katriona Sporkmann

Katriona Sporkmann is originally from the Highlands of Scotland. She now lives on the Costa Blanca and is passionate about writing, literature and the natural world.