JACINTHE and ADONIS were deposited today by staff from la Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) and its partners in a previously prepared ledge in a cliff of the “Parc national des Cévennes”, ready for their first flight into the wild. The two birds will be fed during the first few weeks, and their movements monitored by round-the-clock volunteers. We expect them to fledge around mid-June. You can follow their movements also here >>
These are the latest birds released into the wild in the project to reintroduce the species in the Grands Causses. Releases started in 2012, and so far seven birds have been reintroduced, Bearded vultures only reach breeding maturity when they are 8 or 9, so we do not expect them to start breeding locally before 2022.
The Grands Causses are half-way between the Alps (where the species has been successfully reintroduced, now counting 30 breeding pairs) and the Pyrenees, where the autochthons population has increased in the last few decades. The reintroduction project there is led by LPO Grands Causses with the partners Parc national des Cévennes, Parc regional naturel des Grands Causses, and the VCF. The VCF coordinates the bearded vulture captive breeding network that provides the young bearded vultures for release. These are raised naturally by captive pairs, are not hand-reared and not imprinted on humans.
The LPO, together with the VCF and a number of other partners, are now preparing a proposal to be submitted to the EU LIFE fund for financial assistance to enhance and expand this reintroduction project (Project Gyp Connect). The idea is to try to promote a bridge between the Alps and the Pyrenees, thus securing an effective gene flow between these two mountain chains, which will help increase genetic diversity in both populations of this species
The birds released today were born in the Ostrava Zoo (Adonis) and Richard Faust Breeding Centre (Jacinthe). They were given their names by children from the local schools, and will soon be flying high above the Grands Causses – long live JACINTHE and ADONIS!