Ten months after the LIFE+ project GYPCONECT started, you can now read all about the exciting results – and the hard work put in – on the first project newsletter, just published (see below – in French).
The project, led by the League pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO), in partnership with the VCF and other partners, aims to establish a breeding population of bearded vultures in the Massif Central, as well as in the Pre-Alps, through reintroduction, and promoting dispersal movements between the Alps and the Pyrenean population.
The VCF is responsible for all the captive breeding part of the project – the source of the reintroduced birds, as well as for most of the monitoring of the birds, including tagging of birds, the monitoring of their movements, genetic monitoring of the population, among other research components. The VCF will also collaborate in the reintroduction operations – this year two birds were released in the Grands Causses and two in the Baronnies – the westernmost Pre-Alps.
This project is part of the VCF strategy to restore the species in western Europe, now that the Alpine population is firmly re-established – 34 pairs in 2015 and a record 20 fledglings, and with the first breeding in the wild in Andalucía happening also last year (following extinction there in the 80s, and the start of the reintroduction project 9 years ago), this project aims to promote movements of the species between Iberia and the Alps, thus promoting gene flow, which will also help increasing the genetic diversity of the alpine population, and thus accelerate the end of the reintroduction project there.
The reintroduction project in the Grands Causses has started 5 years ago, and with this project will see a significant boost. At least 4 birds per year will be released in the region in the next 6 years, two in the Grands Causses (Massif Central), and two alternately in Baronnies and in the Vercors – the westernmost pre-Alps.