On the 4th of July, five griffon vultures have been marked with satellite tags in the Riserva Naturale Regionale del Lago di Cornino, which is situated in the Italian province Udine, in the framework of the UE-funded project "Big raptors in the National Park Hohe Tauern". Four of the five griffons were marked on behalf of the National Park Hohe Tauern (Austria) with the aim to study the spatial behaviour and the movement patterns between the breeding areas in Croatia and Friuli (Italy) and the areas in Hohe Tauern which are frequently visited during the summer months.
This project, which demonstrates the importance of international cooperation in vulture conservation projects, is implemented in coordination with the Riserva Naturale Regionale del Lago di Cornino. In this reserve, a supplementary feeding point for vultures has been built as a conservation measures which helped to establish a breeding colony in the area. The colony attracts in summer a high number of birds from several countries, in particular from the Croatian population which is roughly 160 km from the feeding point. Furthermore, each summer a number of griffons move from here to the National Park Hohe Tauern.
The project team has built a cage trap near the feeding point and caught a total of 34 birds on 1st and 4th July. Among these birds ten individuals had colour rings (2 from France, 1 from Bulgaria, 3 from Croatia and 4 from the local colony). The tagging of five griffon vultures with satellite tags were done by Fulvio Genero and his collaborators from the Riserva Naturale, and the vulture experts Daniel Hegglin (VCF) and Michael Knollseisen. The satellite tags were attached with an elastic leg loop harness, a system that has already been extensively used in the alpine bearded vulture reintroduction project and has proven to be very animal friendly. The very efficient, solar powered satellite tags transmit their GPS location via GSM network and have already provided up to 500 locations per day. The movements of the five birds can be followed on public maps which for safety reasons only show one location per day with one-day delay. The maps can be found on the websites of the National Park Hohe Tauern, the Riserva Naturale di Cornino and on our monitoring pages>>
Photos: Riserva Naturale Regionale del Lago di Cornino