A recent assessment of the causes of mortality affecting the severely declining Balkan population of Egyptian vulture has recently been published by the LIFE The return of the Nephron project (http://lifeneophron.eu/).
Human induced causes constitute the vast majority of the 73 incidents resulting in the death of Egyptian vultures recorded in Bulgaria and Greece since 1997. Poisoning is, as expected, the main cause of mortality. Direct persecution and electrocution, another known threats to this species, were also registered, albeit in much reduced numbers.
Poisoning in particular seems to affect mostly adult birds, and this threat may be the main driver of the decline registered in this population in the last 30 years. Poisoning seems to be slightly more prevalent in Greece than in Bulgaria, while cases of electrocution and direct persecution are slightly more common in Bulgaria.
These figures suggest that poisoning in the number one priority for future conservation work in the Balkans.
You can download the report below.
Photo Erick Kobierzycki