At the age of 123 days, Alós, one of the two birds released into the wild in Spain’s newest bearded vulture reintroduction project, has fledged from his hacking nest.
Maestrazgo reintroduction project
Alós was released into the Tinença de Benifassà Natural Park back in May along with another young bearded vulture that came from our Bearded Vulture Captive Breeding Network. The release of these birds is part of efforts to establish a wild breeding population in the Maestrazgo region that is led by the Generalitat of Valencia, in collaboration with the Autonomous Communities from Aragón and Catalonia, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fish, Food and Environment and us here at the Vulture Conservation Foundation.
Historically the region has been a breeding site for the species and is regularly visited by individuals released in Andalusia. By establishing a breeding population this new programme aims to bridge the populations in the Pyrenees and Andalusia, similar to the LIFE GypConnect project that connects populations in the Pyrenees and the Alps.
Alós had attempted fledging last weekend but he didn’t quite succeed and returned to the safety of the nest. But last Wednesday on his second attempt he managed a perfect flight flying straight for 100m before landing on a rocky outcrop near the hacking nest and walking around the area.
Thanks to the GPS transmitter we fitted to his back before he was released we will be able to track his movements and bring you updates on his adventures as he explores his new home.
Alós’ fledging marks another important step towards our big objective of restoring the bearded vulture across its former range in Europe. Good luck Alós.