Bernardus, the young female black vulture equipped with a GPS transmitter, that was released in the Gorges du Verdon (France) last September, as part of the black vulture reintroduction project there, is now in Portugal – you can see here his story and his long travel through Spain and into Portugal.
Well, after having crossed the peninsula south to north along the Portuguese-Spanish border, Bernardus decided to visit… our Egyptian vulture LIFE project site (Douro canyon)! Black vultures are regular in the Douro valley, and they have started to breed there in 2013, in a very interesting recolonisation – it is so far the farthest breeding recolonisation known in Iberia, with the nearest breeding colony about 100km away. One pair has successfully bred in 2014 and 2015 after the first attempt in 2013 – maybe Bernardus will feel tempted to stay around?
You can follow Bernardus movements here>>
Bernardus has some decoloured feathers on the left wing and in the tail, so it is easy to identify.
The VCF has been involved with the reintroduction of black vultures in France, mostly by facilitating the transfer of birds from Spain (wild origin, but coming via rehabilitation centres after they are picked up injured or exhausted), in collaboration with regional administrations in Spain and the French NGOs associated with the reintroduction sites. There are now at least 35 pairs of black vultures breeding in France, in three different nuclei, and soon this reintroduction project will wrap up.