Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus)

Common name in other languages:
Dutch Aasgier; German Schmutzgeier; French Perconptère d´Egypte; Spanish Alimoche; Portuguese Britango; Swedish Smutsgam

Size: 58-70 cm

Weight: 1,6-2,2 kg

Wingspan: 155-170 cm

Life expectancy: up to 37 years in captivity

 

Features: This vulture species is considerably smaller than the other vultures in Europe. Adult animals have a bald yellow head and throat, and a white collar. The plumage is a creamy white, in sharp contrast with the black wing coverts. Young birds are brown with paler wings coverts, and slowly whiten with each mould. Like Bearded vultures, Egyptian vultures sometimes rub themselves with soil rich in ferric oxides, hence the German name ‘Schmutzgeier’.

 

Distribution: During the last decades, the number of Egyptian vultures declined dramatically in Europe. The largest European population is located in Spain (1300 to 1500 pairs). Except in France, where there are currently around 70 breeding pairs, the number of birds across Europe is still decreasing sharply, with over 50% in the last three generations.

 

Behaviour: Egyptian vultures are opportunists and eat very varied. Their diet consists mainly of carrion, but also small mammals, young birds, fish, eggs and even rotting fruit. The species can fly up to 80 kilometers per day in search of food. Due to their smaller size, Egyptian vultures must often wait for other species to have finished eating. The thin beak is perfectly adapted to catch the small pieces of leftover meat on carcasses. Also, they can break an egg by repeatedly dropping stones on it.

 

The Egyptian vulture is the only European vulture that migrates to Africa in winter. This is why they breed later in the year than other vulture species, and lay on average two eggs in April or May. Couples build nests together, in rocky areas, often on cliffs. 

 

Thu

08

Jul

2021

The spread of misinformation as a new challenge for vulture conservation

Griffon Vultures feeding on a carcass © Bruno Berthemy
Griffon Vultures feeding on a carcass © Bruno Berthemy
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Tue

06

Jul

2021

Wildlife Crime Academy: using CSI and forensic science to solve wildlife crimes across 9 countries

© Wildlife Crime Academy/ Vulture Conservation Foundation
© Wildlife Crime Academy/ Vulture Conservation Foundation
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Fri

18

Jun

2021

Research review: What are the economic benefits of avian scavenger-based tourism in Spain?

Cinereous, Griffon and Egyptian Vulture (l-r) photographed in the Spanish Pyrenees © Pilar Oliva
Cinereous, Griffon and Egyptian Vulture (l-r) photographed in the Spanish Pyrenees © Pilar Oliva
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Wed

16

Jun

2021

First Egyptian Vulture observation in the UK in 150 years

Egyptian Vulture photographed in the Isles of Scilly, UK © Will Wagstaff
Egyptian Vulture photographed in the Isles of Scilly, UK © Will Wagstaff
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Tue

15

Jun

2021

Livestock breeders and conservationists increase safe food sources for three vulture species in the Meteora of the North

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Fri

28

May

2021

The BalkanDetox LIFE Project Team Finally Met in Person: 1st NEEMO Monitor Visit and 2nd Partnership Meeting

© Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
© Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
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Sat

22

May

2021

Investigation in the Canary Islands reveals the threat of electrocution to birds like the endangered Egyptian Vulture

Investigating mortality of birds © Agentes de Medio Ambiente de Canarias
Investigating mortality of birds © Agentes de Medio Ambiente de Canarias
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Tue

18

May

2021

Lead ammunition is a problem for eagles and vultures

Golden Eagle suffering from lead poisoning © Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio
Golden Eagle suffering from lead poisoning © Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio
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Sat

08

May

2021

Egyptian Vulture Alvor successfully released in Tejo Internacional (Portugal)

Alvor after his release © VCF
Alvor after his release © VCF
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Fri

07

May

2021

Check out the newly launched website of the BalkanDetox LIFE project

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Thu

29

Apr

2021

Diego returned to his Italian spring-summer base, but soon after made a surprise excursion

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Tue

20

Apr

2021

Discovery of a rare Egyptian Vulture nest in Cape Verde

Egyptian Vultures in Cape Verde © Pedro Lopez/ Bios CV
Egyptian Vultures in Cape Verde © Pedro Lopez/ Bios CV
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Fri

16

Apr

2021

Nature heroes: Dog and human team up to search and remove poison from Bulgaria's countryside

Nikolay and Bars © Димитър Градинаров
Nikolay and Bars © Димитър Градинаров
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Wed

14

Apr

2021

Discovery of the oldest wild Egyptian Vulture

The male Egyptian Vulture captured in 1993 (left) and again in 2020 (right) © (Donázar & Margalida, 2021)
The male Egyptian Vulture captured in 1993 (left) and again in 2020 (right) © (Donázar & Margalida, 2021)
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Fri

09

Apr

2021

Egyptian Vulture Sara carries out incredible migration journey from Niger to Italy

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Fri

02

Apr

2021

Two adult Egyptian Vultures from Bulgaria will not return to their breeding grounds this spring

Carcass of Egyptian Vulture Borris © EWNHS
Carcass of Egyptian Vulture Borris © EWNHS
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Wed

31

Mar

2021

New research reveals when, where, and why Egyptian Vultures are dying

Egyptian Vulture Released After Being Tagged with a Remote-Tracking Device in Armenia (c) Evan Buechley
Egyptian Vulture Released After Being Tagged with a Remote-Tracking Device in Armenia (c) Evan Buechley
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Fri

26

Feb

2021

Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro arrived in the Douro two months after its early return to Europe

Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro after release ©  Vulture Conservation Foundation
Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro after release © Vulture Conservation Foundation
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Mon

22

Feb

2021

WATCH: Documentary recounts the work conducted in the scope of the LIFE Egyptian Vulture project in Italy and the Canary Islands

Egyptian Vulture Clint when he was a day old/ illustrative (c) CERM / LIFE Egyptian Vulture
Egyptian Vulture Clint when he was a day old/ illustrative (c) CERM / LIFE Egyptian Vulture
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Wed

03

Feb

2021

Most vulture mortality cases in the Douro between 2015-2019 related to illegal wildlife poisoning

Inspecting the remains of poisoned Egyptian Vultures in 2018 © ICNF
Inspecting the remains of poisoned Egyptian Vultures in 2018 © ICNF
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Tue

02

Feb

2021

Most recent results from the release techniques of captive-bred Egyptian Vultures in the Eastern Rhodopes

Egyptian Vulture Deni released through hacking © Egyptian Vulture New LIFE
Egyptian Vulture Deni released through hacking © Egyptian Vulture New LIFE
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Tue

19

Jan

2021

French Egyptian Vulture Buoux that spent much of its life in captivity explores African wintering grounds for the first time

Buoux being rehabilitated © Danièle Bruchet
Buoux being rehabilitated © Danièle Bruchet
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Thu

14

Jan

2021

A Swiss Bearded Vulture resurfaced in Baronnies, France, after nearly two years since last observation

Bearded Vulture Mison recently photographed in Baronnies © G.Foilleret
Bearded Vulture Mison recently photographed in Baronnies © G.Foilleret
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Fri

08

Jan

2021

On a collision course: 16 Griffon Vultures killed by wind turbines in Aragon, Spain

Some of the Griffon Vultures that died from wind turbine collision in Aragon (c) ANSAR
Some of the Griffon Vultures that died from wind turbine collision in Aragon (c) ANSAR
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Thu

07

Jan

2021

Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro returns to Europe after spending only two months in Africa

Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro in flight after release and map of movements (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro in flight after release and map of movements (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
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Thu

31

Dec

2020

2021 — Together let's work towards a brighter future for the world and vultures

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Sun

27

Dec

2020

Overview of Egyptian Vulture conservation in 2020

Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Fri

25

Dec

2020

Happy Holidays from the Vulture Conservation Foundation

https://www.4vultures.org/happy-holidays-from-the-vcf-2020/
https://www.4vultures.org/happy-holidays-from-the-vcf-2020/
Read More

Thu

17

Dec

2020

Research Review: Winter movement patterns of the globally endangered Egyptian Vulture in south-western Europe

Egyptian Vulture in Spain (c) Tamara Blazquez Haik
Egyptian Vulture in Spain (c) Tamara Blazquez Haik
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Fri

11

Dec

2020

Live Meeting: Let's talk vultures!

Read More

Thu

10

Dec

2020

European vulture comeback boosted by new agreement

Cinereous and Griffon vultures (c) Pilar Oliva
Cinereous and Griffon vultures (c) Pilar Oliva
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Tue

08

Dec

2020

Research review: Study demonstrates the high risk of lead poisoning in birds of prey, especially Griffon Vultures, in Spain

 (Descalzo et al., 2020)
(Descalzo et al., 2020)
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Wed

02

Dec

2020

A successful Kick-off Meeting of the newly launched LIFE project BalkanDetox LIFE

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Fri

20

Nov

2020

Kick-off meeting of the BalkanDetox LIFE project

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Wed

18

Nov

2020

Research Review: Risk of exposure to diclofenac and other NSAIDs for vultures in Iberia and update on the situation in South Asia

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Wed

11

Nov

2020

From Italy to Mali: Captive-bred and released Egyptian Vultures reach sub-Saharan Africa

Clint and Birba before their release (c) CERM/ Egyptian Vulture LIFE
Clint and Birba before their release (c) CERM/ Egyptian Vulture LIFE
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Sat

07

Nov

2020

 IUCN Vulture Specialist Group's Guide for attaching harness tracking devices to vultures and condors 

Southern African Bearded Vulture with tag in flight (c) Shane Elliott
Southern African Bearded Vulture with tag in flight (c) Shane Elliott
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Thu

05

Nov

2020

Incredible efforts to rescue a juvenile weakened Egyptian Vulture in a war zone!

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Thu

29

Oct

2020

BalkanDetox LIFE: New project combats illegal wildlife poisoning across Balkan countries

Poisoned Cinereous and Egyptian Vulture in Bulgaria (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
Poisoned Cinereous and Egyptian Vulture in Bulgaria (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
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Wed

28

Oct

2020

The Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro finally reaches Africa against all odds!

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Mon

26

Oct

2020

Latest newsletter of the IUCN's Vulture Specialist Group (October 2020)

Griffon Vulture and Cinereous Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Griffon Vulture and Cinereous Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Tue

20

Oct

2020

Vulture Conservation Foundation's position on the proposal to legalize poison bait use in Bulgaria's nature

Poisoned Griffon Vulture in Bulgaria (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
Poisoned Griffon Vulture in Bulgaria (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
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Mon

19

Oct

2020

Book: A Vulture Landscape — Twelve Months in Extremadura

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Thu

15

Oct

2020

Surprise GPS data received from Egyptian Vulture Rupis after nearly a year without information

Egyptian Vulture Rupis after tagging (c) José Jambas
Egyptian Vulture Rupis after tagging (c) José Jambas
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Sat

10

Oct

2020

World Migratory Bird Day: A closer look into the movements of the Egyptian Vulture — Europe's only long-distance migratory vulture

Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro after release (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro after release (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
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Thu

08

Oct

2020

First study on the conservation status of vultures and raptors in Morocco reveals mortality hotspots

Griffon and Egyptian Vulture/illustrative (c) Atanas Delchev
Griffon and Egyptian Vulture/illustrative (c) Atanas Delchev
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Sun

20

Sep

2020

Update on Egyptian Vultures released in Italy this year: one reached Africa another needed rescuing

Clint when he was 70 days old (c) CERM / LIFE Egyptian Vulture
Clint when he was 70 days old (c) CERM / LIFE Egyptian Vulture
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Sat

19

Sep

2020

Upcoming Virtual Vulture Trivia Quizzes — for adults and families

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Wed

16

Sep

2020

Vulture watching: Tarifa during bird migration - the European region where you might see six vulture species!

Rüppell's Vulture in Tarifa (c) Javi Elorriaga/ Birding the Strait
Rüppell's Vulture in Tarifa (c) Javi Elorriaga/ Birding the Strait
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Mon

14

Sep

2020

Four more captive-bred Egyptian Vultures released in Basilicata as part of the restocking efforts in Italy

Zoe, one of the Egyptian Vultures released in 2020 (c) LIFE Egyptian Vulture
Zoe, one of the Egyptian Vultures released in 2020 (c) LIFE Egyptian Vulture
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Fri

11

Sep

2020

Research review: study finds no clear evidence that vultures spread microorganisms to humans and other species, but more likely reduce disease transmission

Griffon Vultures/illustrative (c) Pilar Oliva
Griffon Vultures/illustrative (c) Pilar Oliva
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Sat

05

Sep

2020

Why we need to protect vultures

Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
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Wed

02

Sep

2020

Critical EU vote this Thursday to ban lead shot in wetlands – and that matters to vultures too!

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Sat

29

Aug

2020

Celebrate the International Vulture Awareness Day on 5 September with us!

European vulture species (c) Bruno Berhtemy
European vulture species (c) Bruno Berhtemy
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Fri

28

Aug

2020

Research review: New study demonstrates prevalence of high lead contamination among raptors, especially scavengers, in Europe

Graphical abstract (Monclus et al. 2020)
Graphical abstract (Monclus et al. 2020)
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Wed

26

Aug

2020

Egyptian Vultures: the start of autumn migration

Fangueiro shortly after his release (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
Fangueiro shortly after his release (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
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Mon

24

Aug

2020

Vulture Scavenger Hunt — an educational activity for children

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Fri

07

Aug

2020

Report on wildlife poisoning in Spain between 1992-2017

Poisoned Egyptian Vulture in Spain (c) Nursery Forestry of Navarra
Poisoned Egyptian Vulture in Spain (c) Nursery Forestry of Navarra
Read More

Tue

04

Aug

2020

Four new Egyptian Vulture territories occupied in the Balkans

Egyptian Vultures in Meteora, Greece © Dimitris Vavylis / HOS-BirdLife Greece
Egyptian Vultures in Meteora, Greece © Dimitris Vavylis / HOS-BirdLife Greece
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Tue

21

Jul

2020

Second-ever Egyptian Vulture hatched and fledged in Sardinia

Egyptian Vulture chick hatched in Sardinia on 2020 in flight (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Egyptian Vulture chick hatched in Sardinia on 2020 in flight (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
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Sat

18

Jul

2020

Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro gets new feathers to be able to fly again in the wild

Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro after release (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro after release (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
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Fri

17

Jul

2020

More electric poles insulated in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria to protect vultures

Insulation of electric poles in the Rhodope Mountains (c) Atanas Delchev/BSPP
Insulation of electric poles in the Rhodope Mountains (c) Atanas Delchev/BSPP
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Sun

12

Jul

2020

Egyptian Vulture baby hatched in a nest built on a transmission tower — first record in Spain and Europe

Egyptian Vulture nest on a pylon (c) Junta de Extremadura
Egyptian Vulture nest on a pylon (c) Junta de Extremadura
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Wed

08

Jul

2020

Egyptian Vultures in Italy — upcoming releases and movements of released birds

One of the Egyptian Vultures that hatched in2020 (c) CERM
One of the Egyptian Vultures that hatched in2020 (c) CERM
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Tue

07

Jul

2020

Ecosystem service provision – what do vultures do for us and the environment?

Egyptian and Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
Egyptian and Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
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Sat

04

Jul

2020

A win-win collaboration between livestock breeders and vultures in Kompsatos valley (Greece)

(c) WWF Greece
(c) WWF Greece
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Fri

03

Jul

2020

Vulture Research Update: November 2019 - June 2020

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Wed

01

Jul

2020

Surveying for poison bait use in Albania

(c) AOS
(c) AOS
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Tue

30

Jun

2020

Egyptian Vulture family found dead in the Eastern Rhodopes Mountain in Bulgaria

© BSPB
© BSPB
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Sun

28

Jun

2020

How GPS technology is key to securing the future of vultures

Cinereous Vulture with a GPS transmitter © Franziska Lörcher
Cinereous Vulture with a GPS transmitter © Franziska Lörcher
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Wed

24

Jun

2020

More Egyptian Vultures poisoned to death in the Canary Islands than previously thought

Tagging the rehabilitated Egyptian Vulture ahead of its release back to the wild (c) Egyptian Vulture LIFE project
Tagging the rehabilitated Egyptian Vulture ahead of its release back to the wild (c) Egyptian Vulture LIFE project
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Tue

09

Jun

2020

French Egyptian Vulture Buoux returns to the wild after almost a year in recovery

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Fri

05

Jun

2020

How do vultures contribute to our environment?

Griffon Vultures and Cinereous Vultures (c) Pilar Oliva
Griffon Vultures and Cinereous Vultures (c) Pilar Oliva
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Mon

01

Jun

2020

How are Egyptian Vultures perceived?

Egyptian Vulture (c) Iordan Hristov
Egyptian Vulture (c) Iordan Hristov
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Sat

30

May

2020

Electrocuted in Turkey: Vultures and other soaring birds under threat

Polya died from electrocution in Turkey (c) Süleyman Atil
Polya died from electrocution in Turkey (c) Süleyman Atil
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Fri

22

May

2020

Watch two newly hatched Egyptian Vulture siblings in the wild in Israel

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Thu

21

May

2020

Introducing a schematic sampling protocol for raptor biomonitoring to harmonize procedures across Europe

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Mon

18

May

2020

Will Egyptian Vultures breed in Sardinia again?

Egyptian Vulture carrying nesting materials in Sardinia 2020 (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Egyptian Vulture carrying nesting materials in Sardinia 2020 (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
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Sat

09

May

2020

Over 900 migratory Egyptian Vultures observed in Turkey during one month

Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Tue

05

May

2020

One less Egyptian Vulture pair in the Canary Islands — poisoning killed the pair and left a breeding female in critical condition

The poisoned Egyptian Vulture in the incubator (c) Oasis Wildlife Fuerteventura
The poisoned Egyptian Vulture in the incubator (c) Oasis Wildlife Fuerteventura
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Sun

03

May

2020

Watch vulture videos and nest cams to feel closer to our feathered friends

Griffon Vultures and Bearded Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
Griffon Vultures and Bearded Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
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Sat

02

May

2020

Are vultures really becoming livestock predators? Shedding some light on negative misconceptions and false accusations – new paper

Griffon Vultures (c) Gianluca Damiani
Griffon Vultures (c) Gianluca Damiani
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Wed

29

Apr

2020

The latest Egyptian Vulture national census in Spain demonstrates that the species population is stable

Egyptian Vulture (c) C. Bougain
Egyptian Vulture (c) C. Bougain
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Sun

26

Apr

2020

Lords of the Rhodopean Skies — a new online wildlife photography exhibition available for a limited time

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Sat

25

Apr

2020

Rare sighting of a juvenile Egyptian Vulture in South Africa — the species is thought to be extinct in the country

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Fri

24

Apr

2020

Research review: new article demonstrates the value of research for effective vulture conservation

Cinereous Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
Cinereous Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
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Wed

22

Apr

2020

Earth Day 2020: Why it is more important than ever to preserve our nature and vultures

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Tue

07

Apr

2020

Latest newsletter of the IUCN Vulture Specialist Group

Egyptian and Griffon Vulture (c) Atanas Delchev
Egyptian and Griffon Vulture (c) Atanas Delchev
Read More

Tue

31

Mar

2020

Research review: Intensive monitoring reveals interesting parenting behaviours of Egyptian Vultures during the nesting cycle

Egyptian Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Sun

29

Mar

2020

Research review: New study illustrates how larger vulture species and older individuals are most dominant when competing at carcasses

Cinereous and Griffon Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous and Griffon Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Fri

27

Mar

2020

Four Egyptian Vultures are back on our radar - will they migrate back to Europe?

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Thu

19

Mar

2020

Life, vultures and COVID19 – we live in a brand-new world

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Sun

15

Mar

2020

IUCN's Vulture Specialist Group position on the role of vultures in disease transmission

Bearded Vulture (c) AmandaGuercio
Bearded Vulture (c) AmandaGuercio
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Tue

10

Mar

2020

Egyptian Vulture Faia is the first LIFE Rupis bird to safely cross the Strait of Gibraltar on her way back home this spring

(c) VCF
(c) VCF
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Wed

04

Mar

2020

Intentional poisoning of wildlife is now a crime in Albania

(c) AOS
(c) AOS
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Wed

26

Feb

2020

The VCF at the CoP13 of the Convention for Migratory Species

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Thu

20

Feb

2020

Vulture MsAP Strategic Implementation Plan Launched

African White-backed Vulture (c) Andre Botha
African White-backed Vulture (c) Andre Botha
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Sat

15

Feb

2020

Recent wildlife poisoning in Croatia left many animal casualties

The dead Golden eagle (c) BIOM
The dead Golden eagle (c) BIOM
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Sat

08

Feb

2020

Sign the petition to help protect Egyptian Vultures in Aragon (Spain)

Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Tue

28

Jan

2020

Results from the three methods used to release captive-bred Egyptian Vultures in the Eastern Rhodopes in 2019

(c) Yana Nikolova
(c) Yana Nikolova
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