33 year old BG 080 male bearded vulture was born at Innsbruck zoo, Austria, in 1985. This old experienced bird has bred at Hannover zoo with success from 1991 to 2013. When the female died, he was transferred to the bearded vulture specialized captive-breeding Centre Richard Faust, Austria and he has been a very good foster parent there.
We know that bearded vulture males are fertile until the end of their lives, and they can live in captivity to at least 40 years of age, so we would like to find him a new suitable partner at the La Garenne zoo, Switzerland.
24 year old BG 212 was born at Tierpark Friedrichsfelde, Berlin, Germany, in 1994. Until September 2012 this male was determined as a female, and unfortunately was not able to mate with other males, between 1994 and 2012. Interestingly enough, the pair was frequently observed bonding and building a nest, but of course they never laid an egg. When the second male died in 2012, sex determination was repeated and we found out he was a male!
At Puy du Fou, France, he was finally paired with a female! But the male was never able to successfully mate. We tried with a different female at La Garenne zoo, switzerland, but again, it did not work. Bearded vultures are very peculiar birds and it is a very difficult task to pair birds, to try to match temperaments and personalities. So finally, the EEP coordinator, together with the partners, has decided to give him a chance as a foster parent, with an older female.
Fostering in the bearded vulture captive breeding programme has been an incredible tool, which has permitted the natural rearing of many chicks which have then been released into the wild. How does fostering work? When the breeding adults are not able to rear their own chicks, these foster birds adopt the chicks, feeding and taking care of them, as a parent would in the wild. This is a very critical and important aspect of the bearded vulture EEP breeding programme, especially when it comes to promote natural behaviour in the birds and to avoid contact with humans as much as possible.
We urgently need your support to be able to transport these birds to their new home. And this is why we have launched this crowdfunding campaign. 50 #ConservationHeros have already joined us, raising a total of 2237 euros, which already allows us to transport 5 to 6 birds, but there are 19 birds waiting to be transferred, so we really need to reach the goal of 7500 euros to accomplish our goal.
You can support us with 1 euro or more, and we have some rewards for you! Photo cards, t-shirts, one-on-one talk with our bearded vulture team and you can even choose to even give BG 80 and BG 212 proper names!