Migration bottlenecks of Balkan Egyptian vultures Neophron percnopterus tracked by satellite telemetry

 

Recent spatial analysis on the migration routes of 14 Egyptian vultures (both adults and immatures), done in the framework of the LIFE Return of the Neophron project, revealed that the Egyptian vultures from the Balkans are flying longer and more tortuous migration routes than the birds from the Iberian population, because they have to make a detour across Turkey and the Middle East to avoid the Mediterranean Sea.

 

 

 

The analysis, that included over 11,000 locations, also revealed that the migration route is different in autumn and spring, and that there are bottlenecks, i.e. where flight paths converge in space at the northern (autumn) and the southern (spring) margin of the Med. The most important bottleneck are in the Gulf of Iskenderun (South Turkey), and around Suez in Egypt, both including around 70 % of all the migrations.

 

 

 

On the other hand, some migration hotspots, i.e. where birds concentrate at roosting areas, were located. The main concentration area was in central Anatolia around Beypazari, a well-known breeding area for Egyptian vultures in Turkey where genetic exchange could occur.

 

 

You can download the report at http://lifeneophron.eu/files/docs/1480092020_670.pdf

 

Photo Bruno Berthémy

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