Thu

25

Dec

2014

Bearded vulture makes Xmas appearance in Madrid

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Tue

23

Dec

2014

Tizón is spending Xmas in Senegal!

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Mon

22

Dec

2014

Father Xmas brought some great presents – fist eggs laid in the bearded vulture captive breeding network!

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Sat

20

Dec

2014

Record year for black vultures in Mallorca – 25 pairs and 16 young fledged. Species has recovered from almost extinction in the early 80s

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Thu

18

Dec

2014

EMA says veterinary diclofenac does pose a risk to European vultures, and suggests a number of solutions, including a ban of the drug – what next?

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Tue

09

Dec

2014

Have you ever seen a pig flying? Or a griffon with a bell?

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Sun

07

Dec

2014

Egyptian vulture tagged in Eastern Turkey overwinters in Kenya

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Fri

05

Dec

2014

Scientific community suggest that weak environmental assessments of veterinary drugs undermine regulations and can cause a vulture ecological disaster

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Wed

03

Dec

2014

Burkina Faso? No thanks – let me go back to my preferred spot in Mali – or the incredible voyage of Tizón, the young Egyptian vulture

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Mon

01

Dec

2014

On vultures, rotting food, and nasty germs - new research on the bacteria living on vultures

(c) Bruno Berthemy - European Griffon and Black Vulture feeding on a carcass
(c) Bruno Berthemy - European Griffon and Black Vulture feeding on a carcass
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Fri

28

Nov

2014

34 griffon vultures are on their way from Extremadura (Spain) to Bulgaria, to be released in the Stara Planina Mountains

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Tue

25

Nov

2014

Vultures need you – please write to your MEPs about veterinary diclofenac

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Mon

24

Nov

2014

Tizón does a left turn – he is now on the border with Burkina Faso!

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Wed

19

Nov

2014

New paper makes recommendations regarding the management of vulture feeding stations to benefit endangered species

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Tue

18

Nov

2014

Vultures (and other things!) galore at Turkey feeding station

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Sun

16

Nov

2014

One step closer to ban vet diclofenac in the EU – CMS makes landmark political decision on the matter and recommends its prohibition

The last few weeks saw vulture conservation score a few points against the biggest threats impacting on these scavengers worldwide – poison & veterinary drugs such as diclofenac.

First and foremost, a landmark political decision by the conference of the parties of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), held earlier this month in Quito (Equador), adopted a resolution on poisoning, including approval of a set of guidelines to tackle its causes. This resolution includes a ban on veterinary diclofenac, the phasing out of all lead ammunition, and action on rodenticides, insecticides and poison baits.  

On veterinary diclofenac, the guidelines now approved by the CMS recommend  to “Prohibit the use of veterinary diclofenac for the treatment of livestock and substitute with readily available safe alternatives, such as meloxicam, with mandatory safety-testing of all new veterinary pharmaceuticals for risks to scavenging birds before market authorization is granted”. However, this resolution is not legally binding, and countries can now decide on what to do: “it is for each Party to determine whether or how to implement the recommended actions, considering the extent and type of poisoning risk, whilst having regard to their international obligations and commitments, including those under the Convention".

You can see read the whole text of the resolution, as well as the guidelines, in the links below

Resolution adopted: 

http://www.cms.int/sites/default/files/document/cop11_crp31_dr_preventing_poisoning_migratory_birds.pdf
Guidelines adopted: 

http://www.cms.int/sites/default/files/document/COP11_Doc_23_1_2_Bird_Poisoning_Review_%26_Guidelines_E_0.pdf

This landmark political decision, achieved after months of lobbying by the VCF, BirdLife International, WCS, IUCN and many other organisations, now puts even more pressure on the EU – a signatory to the CMS – to take a final decision regarding veterinary diclofenac in Europe. A technical review of the situation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected in the next weeks, before the EU Commission takes a final decision.

This milestone comes a few weeks after the VCF and other conservation organisations submitted their reasoned opinions on veterinary diclofenac, following a public consultation by EMA. You can see the VCF contribution at http://www.4vultures.org/our-work/campaigning-to-ban-diclofenac-in-europe/


Also, in the end of September IUCN launched its own official position in relation to the increasing incidence and scale of the use of poison causing catastrophic declines in wildlife populations (including vultures) across Africa. You can download the document below.

 

The threat posed by diclofenac and other veterinary agents to avian scavengers has also been highlighted in a great short overview just published – you can also download it below.

All in all, politicians, government representatives, chemists, vulture researchers and conservation practitioners increasingly converge: veterinary diclofenac should be banned in the EU, as evidence of its impacts on vultures is irrefutable, while a safe alternative exists. The VCF now expects the EU Commission to take immediate action to implement these recommendations.




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Fri

14

Nov

2014

Tizón moves further south – he is now close to Bamako

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Wed

12

Nov

2014

Breaking news – Pair of bearded vultures build nest in Cazorla, 30 years after the last nesting in the wild

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Mon

10

Nov

2014

Record year in the bearded vulture alpine reintroduction project: 31 territories and 19 young fledged in the wild, the highest ever

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Sat

01

Nov

2014

Tizón has been enjoying Mali

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Thu

30

Oct

2014

Bearded vulture captive breeding network - busy times preparing the next breeding season! Prague Zoo has just received a new adult pair

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Wed

29

Oct

2014

New paper highlights the importance of Afar region in Ethiopia for wintering Egyptian vultures

Photo Bruno Barthémy/VCF
Photo Bruno Barthémy/VCF
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Mon

27

Oct

2014

Thank you to all volunteers that have joined us in the International Bearded Vulture Observation Days!

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Thu

23

Oct

2014

The Middle-East – a sink for vultures

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Mon

20

Oct

2014

Significant contributions to document the impact of the trade in vulture parts for traditional medicine in Africa published

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Fri

17

Oct

2014

NATURE reports on diclofenac, other veterinary drugs and vultures

http://www.nature.com/news/poisoned-vulture-could-herald-european-bird-crisis-1.16161

 

The recently published evidence about the death of a griffon vulture in Spain poisoned with fluxinin, an anti-inflammatory drug like diclofenac, has been hitting the headlines -  a timely reminder that in countries like Spain vultures do indeed eat carrion from medicated animals. This indeed suggests that we need to ban diclofenac as a precautionary measure to prevent an India-like crash in vulture populations in Europe.

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Wed

15

Oct

2014

New study shows that African bearded vulture populations have reduced genetic variability and have little interpopulation variability

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Wed

15

Oct

2014

Ouf – still alive! Tizón the Egyptian vulture is already in Mali!

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Mon

13

Oct

2014

VCF and Generalitat of Catalonia sign important agreement for the conservation of Bearded Vultures

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Sat

11

Oct

2014

New paper published with first reported case of a griffon vulture being killed by a veterinary drug in Spain

Photo VCF
Photo VCF
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Wed

08

Oct

2014

VCF submits reasoned opinion for the public consultation on veterinary diclofenac

The Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) has been leading a campaign together with other organisations, to ban veterinary diclofenac - given the risk to vultures, and the existence of an alternative, common sense suggest a precautionary approach should be taken. We had therefore asked the EU Commission tostart a procedure for the withdrawal of an authorized veterinary medicinal drug which affects Community interests,Under Article 35 of Veterinary Medicines Directive (2001/82/EC).

 

Recently, after months of wrestling, the Commission has mandated the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to come up with a technical opinion on the matter – a de factoacknowledgment that the facts raised by the VCF are relevant.One of EMA´s first steps has been to start a public consultation on the matter, directed at all professional bodies with information about scavenging birds, veterinary practices and the disposal of animal by-products.

The VCF has now submitted its paper on the matter, and tried to answer all the questions asked by the EMA. You can find the VCF´s paper below

The paper concludes that

  • Veterinary diclofenac is extremely toxic to vultures - half of the Griffon vultures will die after ingesting less than 1 mg

  • In India, it caused a 99% decline of vultures – the decline observed could be explained if only 1 in 1000 carcasses available to vultures contained a lethal concentration of diclofenac

  • Between 9,460 and 27,700 animals were treated with diclofenac in Spain during the first year of marketing of this drug alone

  • Tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands, of carcasses of cattle, pork and horses are eaten by vultures alone in Spain

  • Many of those come from intensive explorations where veterinary control is not individualised

  • Animal carcasses treated with diclofenac can still kill vultures seven days after treatment (thus even more difficult to control)

  • Vultures are gregarious eaters, with tens, often hundreds of animals eating from a single carcass. One animal carcass treated with diclofenac would be enough to kill dozens of vultures

  • Day to day decision on what to send to vulture feeding stations remains in the hand of farm managers, not veterinarians

  • There is risk that treated cattle in extensive systems can die in the fields and are then almost all eaten by vultures within 1 hour of death

  • The practical measures suggested to minimise risk to diclofenac would be extremely expensive to set up, and would not be 100% safe 100% of the time, due to lack of enforcement, awareness, and veterinary oversight

  • According to the Spanish government own estimate, between 0,11 and 0,22% of all carcasses available to vultures could include diclofenac in 5 years – close to the 0,13%-0,75% that caused the 99% decline in India!

  • Legal availability of diclofenac in Europe causes a precedent and a conduit for a global boom in veterinary diclofenac worldwide

  • THERE IS AN ALTERATIVE DRUG WITH THE SAME THERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES AND PRICE (Meloxicam)

 

The VCF thus concludes that the risk to European vultures is unacceptable, and thus veterinary diclofenac should be banned in Europe

 

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Tue

07

Oct

2014

Veterinary diclofenac in Europe – we know what it did to India´s vultures & there is an alternative – so WHY?

This is indeed the question that tens of thousands of concerned citizens are asking. Unfortunately this veterinary drug filtered through the loop holes of national risk assessments and is now available in Italy and Spain. FATRO, the Italian company producing it, cynically uses the (inadequate) risk assessment as their legal argument, and has refused a voluntary withdrawal from the market. But evidence is so overwhelming – it caused a +95% decline in vulture species across the Indian subcontinent –, that we are all waiting for the EU to take action. A public consultation on the matter is now taking place – tomorrow the VCF will publish its reasoned opinion. In the meantime, please see below another article on the matter. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/toxic-drug-could-threaten-alpine-vultures/40802526 

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Sun

05

Oct

2014

Vultures in Europe – a future foretold?

Vultures - a future foretold. Frontiers in Ecology
Vultures a future foretold.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 298.8 KB
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Sat

04

Oct

2014

Tizón, the young Egyptian vulture released in Extremadura, is already in Southern Morocco

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Fri

03

Oct

2014

The Alps International Bearded Vulture Observation Days are coming - join us & 600 other volunteers on 10-19 October!

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Thu

02

Oct

2014

Great year for bearded vultures in Crete – five young from five breeding pairs!

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