The Vulture Conservation Foundation is an international NGO committed to the conservation of the European vulture species: Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus), Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), Cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) and Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus). VCF has extensive experience in breeding, reintroduction and protection of vultures in their natural habitat.
All European vulture species have a highly vulnerable status, and their distribution ranges have been severely restricted in the last century. Threats such as illegal poisoning, lack of food availability and collisions at wind farms and powerlines are putting the incipient recovery of some populations at risk. The isolation of many of the breeding populations and low productivity rate of the species make it difficult to ensure the survival of these species in the long term.
Vultures require large natural areas of good quality habitat, which is increasingly difficult to find in the humanized European continent. Because of their unique role in the ecosystem, vultures are ‘keystone species’ in European mountain landscapes. They cut the vector of infectious disease transmission, act as natural carcass recyclers and are of great socioeconomic value to local communities. Protecting vultures therefore means protection of the entire European mountain ecosystems.