As the 2018 bearded vulture release season draws to a close with the release of two birds in Switzerland on Sunday 17 June, following successful releases across Europe, from Andalusia in Spain, the Baronnies region of the French pre-Alps to the Hohe Tauern National Park in the Austrian Alps, we thought we would check in on birds released back in 2017.
Calandreto and co.
Calandreto was one of four bearded vultures released in the Grands Causses back in 2017 as part of the LIFE Gypconnect project. Calandreto and the three other birds were all fitted with GPS transmitters that allow us to track their movements. From the data we collected we discovered that the birds stayed in the Grands Causses area for their first winter. However, Calandreto movements this spring and summer is proving exciting news for us and our partners, as he is moving south.
Until May 2018 his movements were quite restricted, but he started making longer and longer journeys in May and at the beginning of June he started heading south, towards the Pyrenees.
The Gypconnect project aims to help re-establish the former range of the bearded vulture by connecting the growing population of the species in the Alps to the population in the Pyrenees by reintroducing individuals to the Grands Causses-Massif Central region of France.
The journey of Calandreto south is an important first step in helping to connect the two breeding populations in the Pyrenees and the Alps and is the second reintroduced bird to make the journey since 2012. There is lots of work to do to achieve the aims of the Gypconnect project, with exchange of individuals in both directions and of course breeding success of individuals released.
We’ll keep and eye on Calandreto and keep you up to date with his developments.