Juan José Sánchez Artés (1962-2016)


Men say that time goes by. Time says that men go by. But some stay – and Juanjo will be one of them.


Juan José Sánchez Artés died last weekend of a heart attack. He was 54 years old, and spent half of his life fighting for vultures and for Mallorca´s biodiversity. He was the president of two foundations - Black Vulture Conservation Foundation (BVCF) and Fundació Vida Silvestre Mediterrània (FVSM), as well as presiding over the ICTIB (Iniciatives per a la Custòdia del Territori a les Illes Balears). Juanjo was lately very busy managing the Ariant (Pollença) estate for conservation purposes – a key property donated to the FVSM in 2012. Juanjo was also a member of the VCF advisory board.


Juanjo was married to Evelyn Tewes and left two teenage sons.


Juan José has spent much of his life fighting for the conservation of the black vulture in Mallorca, but he has also contributed much for vulture conservation projects in France (black vulture reintroduction project) and for the Balkan Vulture Action Plan.


I last met Juanjo in April, after a successful VCF meeting in Bulgaria – over dinner in Sofia after everybody else had departed, he told me how happy he was to return to Bulgaria and see all the progress there after his initial efforts.


Juanjo was indeed among the first ones to believe in the recovery of vultures in the Balkans. He has introduced many Balkan naturalists to vulture conservation, and many projects were developed in the Balkans under his lead. So much so that one of the first wild-born griffon vulture chicks from the reintroduced population in the Balkan mountains was named after him recently, as gratitude to his support, help and dedication to the Balkan vultures.


Juanjo also left a mark in the anti-poison work in Spain and Europe. More than 20 years ago he was one of first that started to speak about this problem and tried make everyone aware of this most important threat to vultures. Many of the first anti-poison actions implemented in Spain were his idea.


Long live Juan José! We will work hard so that your dreams of reconnecting the black vultures populations in Europe, from Spain to Turkey via the Balkans, become true.


A remembrance event will take a place on the 24th of November (12h) in Finca Son Pons s/n Ctra. Palma-Alcudia Km. 38.200, 07310 Campanet, España. You can also send messages to Evelyn at this address


José Tavares


VCF Director


Write a comment

Comments: 10
  • #1

    celia sánchez sánchez (Thursday, 17 November 2016 19:14)

    Querida Evelyn, hace tantos años que no hablamos que no sé si te acordarás de nosotros, Pablo Pereira y Celia Sánchez, de Doñana (ahora vivimos en Galapagar, Madrid). Compartimos muchos buitres negros: Baltasar, Celia, Rocío, Satán... Yo no me he olvidado nunca de vosotros, siempre estaréis en nuestros corazones. Dale un beso muy fuerte a Samuel y Rubén. Y para ti el beso y el abrazo más grande que seas capaz de imaginar.

  • #2

    yvan tariel (Friday, 18 November 2016 11:49)

    All our condolences. His smiles remain engraved in our memories.

  • #3

    Gordana Pavokovic (Friday, 18 November 2016 16:53)

    Dear Evelyn,
    my sincere condolences to you and your family.

  • #4

    Fulvio (Monday, 21 November 2016 09:14)

    Dear Evelyn,
    I'm really sorry for what happened to Juan and your family. I hope you will find the power to continue to move forward with serenity. In different meetings, in the last years, I met Juan and I have always appreciated his professionalism, commitment and friendliness. He spoke me a lot about your beautiful island and all what you do for the "buitres" and nature. I wish to you and your family all the best

  • #5

    Dimitris (Monday, 21 November 2016 14:00)

    Dear Evelyn,
    My deepest sympathies go out to you and your family.

  • #6

    Marleen Huyghe (Tuesday, 22 November 2016 16:29)

    Dear Evelyn,
    All our condolences are with you and your family.
    Colleagues from Antwerp and Planckendael Zoo.

  • #7

    Dirk Ullrich (Wednesday, 23 November 2016 09:05)

    Dear Evelyn and sons,
    all our condollences to you. We all have lost a big colleague and true friend - we will miss him. His work, his visions will have to be continued. We wish you strength to manage this hard time. Stay brave and well!
    Dirk and the colleagues from Alpenzoo Innsbruck

  • #8

    Miguel Angel Quevedo (Wednesday, 23 November 2016 12:14)

    Dear Evelyn, it has been a shocking new. I am so sorry to learn that Juan José left. I still keep nice and good memories of him dealing with vultures and sherry wine in Jerez. Our condollences are with your family.
    Miguel Angel y Olga

  • #9

    Lin Utzon (Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:05)

    Dearest Evelyn
    Hugues and I are devastated to hear of you loss,of all our loss we will never forget the wonderful day we spent with you in Ariant and will never forget Juan Jose.He will live on in that wonderful work you are doing ❤️❤️
    We send you all our love and all our compassion
    lin and Hugues❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • #10

    Juanjo Molina (Thursday, 24 November 2016 19:51)

    Me enteré ayer de tan triste noticia.
    Tuve la suerte de conocerle hace unos 15 años, en el Curso de Buitres de la UNED de Ávila, donde nos dio una gran conferencia y nos invitó a participar de ciertas actividades de seguimiento, que despertaron en mí un gran interés, que casi tenía dormido.
    Cuando visité Mallorca y me puse en contacto con él, me ofreció la visita a las instalaciones de la fundación, así como información muy interesante para mi visita en la isla y ver las aves que por allí se encuentran.
    Creo que naturalistas como él y otros desaparecidos, se encuentran sobrevolando el aire a lomos de las aves que tanto defendieron.
    D.E.P. y saluda al resto de buitreros que surcan junto a ti los cielos.
    Ánimo Évelyn




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