International observation day is this weekend – join us! Last year 700 volunteers counted ~190 bearded vultures, or 70% of the estimated Alpine population

The International Observation Days (IOD) for bearded vultures have started in 2006, and consist in a one day simultaneous count of bearded vultures across the whole Alpine arc, organised by the International Bearded Vulture Monitoring network (IBM).

 

This count allows for a thorough monitoring of the bearded vulture population status and the distribution in the Alps. Furthermore, the count produces many sightings of identifiable birds, thus generating baseline data for survival analyses and demographic modelling. Besides the valuable information about the dynamics of the reintroduced population, the IODs also play an important role in creating public awareness for the project.

 

Over the years this event, which takes place during the first fortnight of October, has become an important date for ornithologist and bird-watchers, who are fascinated by this large bird species. The number of volunteer observers has been growing every year  - last year we had over 700 participants

 

The 2015 event – you can download the report below – logged in 450 bearded vulture observations, even if only half of all GPS-tagged animals could be observed.

 

Crossing the observation data with expert knowledge about the presence of territorial and tagged birds, we estimate that we have seen last year between 166 and 199 different bearded vultures. These estimates are higher than in the last two years (2013: 117-128, 2014: 112-130). The current estimate for the total population size for the Alps – obtained by updating the demographic model developed in 2009 – predicts a population size of 227 individuals. This means that more than 70% of the birds in the Alps were seen last year during the 2015 IOD!

 

Among the observed birds last year 10% of were identified as juveniles, 14% as immature, 10% as subadult and 54% as adult birds. Furthermore, it was possible to identify individually 66 bearded vultures, thus providing us valuable information on their life history.

 

This year´s count is this Saturday – 8th October.  All over the Alps, people will spend the day in the mountain and keep an eye on the bearded vultures and count them! Please contact the regional coordinators below if you are interested in participating or contact us for any other question:

 

Austria: g.gressmann@tirol.gv.at

 

Italy - Stelvio: enrico.bassi76@gmail.com

 

Italy - Aosta: c.chioso@regione.vda.it

 

Italy - Alpi Marittime: luca.giraudo@parcoalpimarittime.it

 

France - Haute Savoie:etienne.marle@asters.asso.fr

 

France - Mercantour: monique.perfus@mercantour-parcnational.fr

 

France - Ecrins: christian.couloumy@gmail.com

 

France - Grands Causses: raphael.neouze@lpo.fr

 

France - Vercors: benoit.betton@pnr-vercors.fr

 

France - Les Baronnies: gypaete@vautoursenbaronnies.com

 

Switzerland: bartgeier@gmx.net

 

 

Report of the IOD 2015
2015_summary_IOD_IBM.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 9.3 MB

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