You can find details of the recent release of Griffon vultures along with a handy guide to the wing marking applied on those birds released to help spot them.
As well as restocking the small Sardinian population and maintaining supplementary feeding stations the project is actively monitoring the wild population. This year saw an increase in the number of territorial pairs on Sardinia from 45 in 2017 to 50 in 2018, and the number of breeding pairs rising to 37 in 2018 from 34 in 2017. This increase also saw the number of juveniles jump from 25 in 2017 to 27 this year. A great success for the project and testament to the hard work of our vulture conservation colleagues on Sardinia. The full 2018 Breeding Season report can be downloaded below.
Fighting illegal wildlife poisoning
The LIFE Under Griffon Wings project has established an anti-poison dog unit to help tackle the illegal wildlife poisoning, and as part of the work to raise awareness on the issue hosted recently a conference for local school children. The conference was co-organised by Department of Veterinary Medicine and by the Forest Rangers (Corpo Forestale e di Vigilanza Ambientale della Sardegna) to demonstrate the impacts of illegal poisoning on the environment.
The project’s work on illegal wildlife poisoning will involve a public awareness campaign that will be launched on 16 November.
This work is vitally important for the success of the restocking programme which we here at the Vulture Conservation Foundation are partners on. Just this week we learnt of the death of one of birds that were released last month - once the full toxicology results are released we will inform about the cause of death.
Griffons vultures in Sardinia
Distributed over the whole island up to the late 1940s with an estimated population of 800 – 1200 individuals, the population of Griffon vultures in Sardinia dropped rapidly after the Second World War until the outlawing of poisoned baits in 1977. Now the species is restricted to the north-western part of the island and during a 2013 survey consisted of just 30 territorial pairs and 130 individuals.
LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Led by Sassari University, the LIFE Under Griffon Wings project aims to improve the conservation status of Griffon vultures is improving food availability by establishing a network of farm feeding stations, managed by the livestock breeders themselves, establishingan anti-poison dog unit and developing a communication actions to raise awareness on the threat caused by the illegal use of poisoned baits and carrying out an extensive restocking programme to enhance the small population by translocating between 45 and 60 birds from wildlife rehabilitation centers in Spain to Sardinia