100 years after going extinct in the Alps, the bearded vulture is now back to the alpine skies – 40+ established territories and a record number of wild-born fledged young, in one of the most celebrated and spectacular wildlife comebacks in recent decades in Europe.
What many do not realise is that at the base of this spectacular result is a dedicated network of organisations, staff, bird curators and volunteers, working in 40+ Zoos, animal parks and specialized breeding centers, working incessantly with a captive stock of birds to maximize captive breeding of bearded vultures for release in reintroduction projects.
This network, organised in a European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), is coordinated by the VCF. One of the VCF jobs is to provide technical guidelines to maximise captive breeding and the welfare of the birds, and so a number of documents have been produced over the years, including a protocol on feeding bearded vultures in captivity.
Now, with the precious help from a volunteer from the Recovery center LPO Hérault (Centre Régional de Sauvegarde de la Faune Sauvage), these guidelines have been translated into French. This document has now been distributed to all French zoos included in the EEP - and you can download them below.
Poor feeding practices is the second cause of dead in captive bearded vultures. Now bird curators in French zoos can read guidelines in their mother language, so that they can follow in all detail the needs of the species in captivity. This hopefully will improve the welfare of their birds, giving them a longer life span and higher breeding success. At the moment, there are 6 zoos-centers in France that include captive bearded vultures (see photos), a significant contribution to the network. The VCF is currently involved in three projects in France with the bearded vulture, the LIFE GYPHELP and the LIFE GYPCONNECT, and the restocking project in Corsica.
The VCF would like to thank the volunteer that did this great job. Merci!
Photos Alex Llopis VCF
Pictures: Academie de Fauconnerie du Puy du Fou, Amnéville zoo, Asters Breeding Center, Beauval zoo, Parc Animalier des Pyrénées, Parc des Oiseaux