After the first breeding in the wild in 1997 – 11 years after the release of the first bearded vultures in the Alps, in a reintroduction project coordinated by the VCF, the species is firmly recolonizing part of the vast mountain chain. This year there are a minimum of 37 territorial pairs, including about 12 in the French Alps. One of the biggest subpopulations – about 12 pairs - lives around the Mont Blanc, in Haute-Savoie including the Vanoise massif, in the neighbouring Valais region of Switzerland and in Aosta and Gran Paradiso National Park in Italy. Four of these breed in the Parc National de la Vanoise, of which two have been successful this year and have now a young bearded vulture in the nest. See a short video about these pairs, and the work behind the monitoring of the pairs by the staff from the National Park, above.
The Parc National de la Vanoise, and the VCF, are partners in a LIFE project (GYPHELP) aiming to enhance the bearded vulture population in the French Aps, from Haute-Savoie through Vanoise, to Mercantour. Since 2014, and until the end of 2018, lots of actions are taking place in that region to minimise the threats to the species. You can see some details here