So far the VCF and its local partners have released 14 birds across three European mountain ranges this year – 7 birds in the Alps, 2 in the Cevennes (Massif Central-Grands Causses), and 5 in Cazorla (Andalucia). The last bird – a rather late young – will be released soon in southern Spain.
Most of the birds released (in hacking platforms) have now fledged, and are flying free above the mountains. Still followed by tens of volunteers and staff, who have watched over their hacking platforms tirelessly, and provided them with food and water during the weeks leading to fledgling, these birds will integrate the respective populations over the next few years. From Italy, the staff from the Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime report that the two young released (see here) are flying together with the long staying adult (Paolo Peila). In Switzerland the three young released (see here) were recently joined by a wild-born young bird.
There are now 14 more bearded vultures in Europe – little by little, the species is recovering and claiming more of its former range. Thank you to all who work so hard to make this dream come true.
You can see some footage about this project, and about the release of two young in Hoh Tauern National Park (Austria), in the film above, done through collaboration with Ostrava Zoo and Enrico Gombala.