The Cinereous Vulture Barnabie is a captive-bred bird from Parc des Oiseaux that was released in Bulgaria as part of Vulture Back to LIFE, which aims to reintroduce and establish a nesting population of the species in the country. But after a few months in the wild, Barnabie suffered an accident and now has a new mission in life.
Releasing Barnabé in Bulgaria
Parc des Oiseaux donated the Cinereous Vultures Barnabie to the Vultures Back to LIFE project for release. Barnabie was released together with Ultron, Zlin and Ostrava-2 as part of the project's efforts to reintroduce the species to Bulgaria. Ahead of their release, the vultures were equipped with satellite transmitters to track their movements, identify threats and be able to monitor the birds' health. After spending four months in the wild, the project team realised that something was wrong with Barnabie after noticing he spent too much time in one place, so they went on-site to check on him. They then realised he suffered an accident and so he was rescued.
Rescue and rehabilitation
After the field check, the team captured the Barnabie and transported him to the Green Balkans Rescue Centre in Stara Zagora, where the vets discovered the bird had three fractures on its right wing. The good news is that the bird's overall condition was good and its weight was not critical. In the Center, the wing was fixed with a bandage and the bird was rehabilitated. Unfortunately, after three months in rehabilitation, the wing could not fully recover. He will never be able to fly again because the carpal joint of his right-wing has ankylosis so the vulture will never be able to return to the wild.
Barnabie's new mission
Barnabie is a significant bird for its species, so even though he will not be able to return to the wild, he will still play a valuable part for the recovery of the species in Europe. He will remain in the Cinereous Vulture captive breeding programme (EEP), which breeds the species in captivity for conservation purposes. Barnabie will get the chance to mate with a female partner from his species once he becomes sexually mature. And hopefully, if all goes well, we will be able to welcome Barnabie's chicks in a few years! To do so, Barnabie returned to Parc des Oiseaux a few days ago, where he hatched and will now become part of the breeding programme.
All this was possible thanks to the support of Marleen Hughe – curator of birds in Antwerp zoo - Plankendael and coordinator of the European endangered species program for the Cinereous Vulture (EEP)! Also, a big thank you to Parc des Oiseaux who financially supported the transportation of Barnabie and who will undertake his rearing from now on! Also thanks go to Svilen Stamatov from Bulgarian Animal Transport for his assistance in handling the transportation issues of the bird.
Source: Green Balkans
Vultures Back To LIFE
Led by the wildlife conservation charity Green Balkans, with activities also implemented by the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna, and bringing together partners from Bulgaria, Spain and Germany, Vultures Back to LIFE aims to reintroduce the cinereous or Eurasian black vulture to Bulgaria. The team will transfer and release around 60 birds, some from captive-breeding, but mostly coming from wildlife rehabilitation centers in Extremadura (Spain) into the wild in Bulgaria as well as creating supplementary feeding stations and improving populations of wild herbivores, improving the nesting conditions and creating artificial nest sites and tackling some of the major threats to vultures in the country such as insulating electricity pylons and illegal use of poison in the nature.