The results of the Andalucía action plan for the conservation of the black vulture were made public this weekend by the regional government of Andalucía, in the framework of the celebrations of the International Vulture Awareness Day.
In a symbolic event organized in Aroche, José Fiscal, the regional minister for the environment and land planning, announced that in 2016 a total of 192 young vultures fledged in Andalucía – five short of last year´s record, but still a great year for the species.
Last year 398 pairs started to breed (362 in 2015), and 366 laid eggs (317 in 2015). The estimated black vulture population in Andalucía totals more than 560 mature individuals. In 2002, when the action plan was initiated, there were less than 190 adult black vultures in this region of Spain. The population has been growing at around 5% year after 1999.
Within the Andalucian region, breeding birds are distributed as follows: Huelva, 134 pairs (120 in 2015); Seville, 118 pairs (98 in 2015); Jaén, 79 pairs (same as in 2015); Córdoba, 67 pairs (65 in 2015).
Mortality rates caused by poisoning have been reduced by 80% since the end of the 2000s, mostly due to the regional anti-poisoning programme.
The species has increased significantly in Spain, and in France, where successful reintroduction projects using Spanish rehabilitated birds have managed to create three breeding nucleus – a project supported by the VCF. It has also re-colonised naturally Portugal. Currently the VCF is participating in a LIFE project to reintroduce black vultures – using again Spanish birds entering rehabilitation centres – in Bulgaria – Vultures Back to LIFE