Vautours en Baronnies, the local NGO who is coordinating the reintroduction of the species there, organised last Friday a wonderful event to celebrate the first ever release of young bearded vultures in the Baronnies (see photos).
The two birds now released, Girun (female) and Voltaire (male) hatched in captivity within the bearded vulture captive breeding network coordinated by the VCF, and are now spending their last few weeks before fledging in a platform in the cliffs.
Baronnies, in the extreme western pre-Alps, is an important stepping stone between the Alps the Massif Central and the Pyrenees, and therefore will serve as the perfect corridor population for a pan European future gene flow. Griffon and black vulture populations have been restored there, so Vautours en Baronnies has now a solid track record and experience on vulture restoration projects. Further, some bearded vultures often use the area for prolonged periods of time – mostly come from the nearby Vercors.
This bearded vulture release was the first in the site, and happens within the framework of the LIFE GYPCONNECT project, an EU funded project that aims to enhance the establishment of the gene flow between the bearded vultures is the Alps and the Pyrenees. The LIFE GYPCONNECT is also co-funded by the MAVA foundation.