On the 14th of October a pair of bearded vultures born in 2007 at the Richard Faust Captive Breeding Center in Austria has been transferred to Prague zoo by the bearded vulture EEP (Endangered Species Programme) coordinator, Dr. Hans Frey, and the VCF Bearded Vulture Programme Manager, Dr. Alex Llopis Dell.
Back in 2002, during the severe flooding of the Danube, it was necessary to move the young bearded vulture pair from Prague zoo to Ostrava zoo. By the following breeding season the pair showed breeding behaviour, and start reconstructing a nest. The EEP experts then suggested not moving the birds, to give them the possibility to reproduce in Ostrava, and at the same time the EEP promised to send a new pair as soon as possible to Prague.
Prague continues to have an old breeding pair (minimum 45 years old), who has not laid eggs since 2010. Because of their old age, they even have some problems climbing up to the nest in the big aviary, so this old pair was removed to a small aviary, while the new pair of adult bearded vultures has now been lodged in the big aviary. We hope they will now settle well and start breeding soon.
In the meantime an adult female bearded vulture from Plock zoo (Poland) has also been transferred to the captive breeding center in Austria, where pair bonding will be tried with an adult male coming from Hannover zoo – the idea here is to return the bonded pair back to Plock zoo.
During the same trip Hans Frey and Alex Llopis could also visit other zoos in Czech Republic (Ostrava zoo and a private keeper Mr. Petr Stika) and Poland (Poznan), and discussions were held with the staff on how to improve their bearded vulture aviaries.
We would like to thank all five institutions for their warm invitation and hosting.