So far we have released 9 young bearded vultures across Europe, in the ongoing reintroduction projects: two in Cazorla/Andalucia (see here), two in the Grands Causses (see here), two in the Austrian Alps (see here) and three in the Swiss Alps (see here). This weekend it is the time to release birds in the Parco Alpi Marittime and in two more birds in Andalucia.
In Italy we will release two males – one hatched in Tierpark Berlin, from a pair that has already produced 9 young, the other one from the specialized breeding center in Vallcalent (Spain) co-managed by the Generalitat de Catalonia & the VCF – this chick has an interesting story: on the 12th March it started to hatched. Immediately the female increased the hole with its bill, but the next morning it was evident that the egg membrane was glued to the chick, which had several blood clots. The egg shell was then artificially opened by VCF staff until the chick´s head was completely free. At this point the female become very nervous and finally extracted its chick from the egg – unfortunately the female also rejected the chick, continuing to incubate only egg shell remains. The chick was then given for adoption by the imprinted male Gualay, which was already rearing the 3 weeks older sibling (this chick was released in Switzerland). He fed the chick well but didn’t warm it, being necessary during the night to transfer it into the brooder. On the 27th of March the chick was transferred to Ostrava zoo where it was adopted by a pair.
In Castril we will release a female and a male raised locally at the Guadalentin specialized captive breeding center, managed by the Junta de Andalucia. This year, because of the high number of eggs and chicks in Guadalentín, it was necessary to do double and triple adoptions – that was the case of the male - hatched on the 18th of March, it was sent to the first foster couple 10 days later, but this failed because they didn’t warm it well. A second adoption was done with success.
The birds will be presented to the public in ceremonies – at San Giacomo in Parco Alpi Marittime, and in Castril (Granada), and will then be taken to the platform high up in the mountains, where they will stay until they fledge naturally.