Cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus)

Common name in other languages:

Dutch: Monniksgier; German: Mönchsgeier; French: Vautour Moine; Spanish: Buitre Negro; Portuguese: Abutre Preto; Swedish: Gragam

Size: 98-110 cm

Weight: 7,1-12,5 kg

Wingspan: 250-295 cm

Life expectancy: up to 40 years in captivity

 

Features: The cinereous vulture is one of the heaviest and largest raptors in the world. It is a dark brown and broad-winged species with a slightly wedge-shaped tail. The bald head and neck are a bluish gray, with a fluffy collar which is lighter in older birds. In many countries, this bird is called ‘monk vulture’, because of it’s upright standing neck feathers that resemble the hood of a monk.

 

Distribution: In the last two hundred years, the cinereous vulture greatly decreased in numbers in most distribution areas, especially by poisoning, habitat destruction and reduction of food supply. In many European countries (Portugal, France, Italy, Austria, Poland, Slovakia and Romania), the species became extinct. Thanks to strong efforts in many different projects (e.g. the protection of breeding sites, taking actions against poisoning, restoration programs), the numbers are now slowly increasing, especially in Spain, where the population is now of more than 2,000 pairs. Furthermore, in France a successful reintroduction project has resulted in the re-establishment of the species (25+ pairs), Greece (around 28 breeding pairs in the only remianing colony in the Balkans). The total European breeding population (including Turkey and Russia) is approximately 1800 pairs.

 

Behaviour: The cinereous vulture nests in trees and sometimes on cliffs. Like most other vultures, cinereous vultures are monogamous. Couples build huge nests that are reused each year. Eggs hatch in 50-55 days. Cinereous vultures have a specialized type of hemoglobin in their blood, allowing them to effectively absorb oxygen even at great heights. On thermal winds they ‘float’ to these great heights in search of carcasses.

Sun

09

Aug

2020

Portuguese Cinereous Vulture equipped with GPS tag in the nest

Cinereous Vulture Chaparrito with a GPS tag (c) LPN
Cinereous Vulture Chaparrito with a GPS tag (c) LPN
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Fri

07

Aug

2020

Report on wildlife poisoning in Spain between 1992-2017

Poisoned Egyptian Vulture in Spain (c) Nursery Forestry of Navarra
Poisoned Egyptian Vulture in Spain (c) Nursery Forestry of Navarra
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Fri

24

Jul

2020

First-ever Cinereous Vulture nestlings equipped with GPS tags in the Douro

The young Cinereous Vulture in its nest after it was tagged on 13 July © VCF
The young Cinereous Vulture in its nest after it was tagged on 13 July © VCF
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Sun

19

Jul

2020

Research reveals that Andean condors flap wings just 1% of the time

Andean Condor © Bastian Gygli/ Wikimedia Commons
Andean Condor © Bastian Gygli/ Wikimedia Commons
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Fri

17

Jul

2020

More electric poles insulated in the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria to protect vultures

Insulation of electric poles in the Rhodope Mountains (c) Atanas Delchev/BSPP
Insulation of electric poles in the Rhodope Mountains (c) Atanas Delchev/BSPP
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Tue

07

Jul

2020

Ecosystem service provision – what do vultures do for us and the environment?

Egyptian and Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
Egyptian and Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
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Sun

05

Jul

2020

First Griffon Vulture equipped with GPS tag in Mallorca to study the natural colonisation of the species

Tagging the Griffon Vulture (c) Giacomo Tavecchia/ GEDA-IMEDEA (CSIC_UIB)
Tagging the Griffon Vulture (c) Giacomo Tavecchia/ GEDA-IMEDEA (CSIC_UIB)
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Sat

04

Jul

2020

A win-win collaboration between livestock breeders and vultures in Kompsatos valley (Greece)

(c) WWF Greece
(c) WWF Greece
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Fri

03

Jul

2020

Vulture Research Update: November 2019 - June 2020

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Thu

02

Jul

2020

The Cinereous Vulture Riga has once again travelled to Austria

Riga in Austria  (c) Richard Straub
Riga in Austria (c) Richard Straub
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Mon

29

Jun

2020

Last transportation of Cinereous Vultures from Spain to France for the reintroduction of the species

© VCF
© VCF
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Sun

28

Jun

2020

How GPS technology is key to securing the future of vultures

Cinereous Vulture with a GPS transmitter © Franziska Lörcher
Cinereous Vulture with a GPS transmitter © Franziska Lörcher
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Fri

26

Jun

2020

Fifteen Cinereous Vultures travel from Extremadura to Bulgaria to be reintroduced

One of the Cinereous Vultures (c) Jovan Andevski/VCF
One of the Cinereous Vultures (c) Jovan Andevski/VCF
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Sun

21

Jun

2020

Record number of Cinereous Vultures photographed at a LIFE Rupis feeding station in the Douro (Portugal)

Cinereous Vulture/illustrative (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous Vulture/illustrative (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Thu

11

Jun

2020

Two more Cinereous Vultures released at Vrasachi Balkan in Bulgaria

One of the five birds released on 15 May 2020 (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
One of the five birds released on 15 May 2020 (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
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Fri

05

Jun

2020

How do vultures contribute to our environment?

Griffon Vultures and Cinereous Vultures (c) Pilar Oliva
Griffon Vultures and Cinereous Vultures (c) Pilar Oliva
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Wed

03

Jun

2020

Watch how Cinereous Vultures utilize surrounding landscape for energy efficient soaring flight

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Tue

02

Jun

2020

Cinereous Vultures are breeding again in the Iberian System after more than half a century since their extinction

Acebo incubates the laying of the first Cinereous Vulture chick that hatched in the Iberian System (c) GREFA
Acebo incubates the laying of the first Cinereous Vulture chick that hatched in the Iberian System (c) GREFA
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Sat

30

May

2020

Electrocuted in Turkey: Vultures and other soaring birds under threat

Polya died from electrocution in Turkey (c) Süleyman Atil
Polya died from electrocution in Turkey (c) Süleyman Atil
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Thu

28

May

2020

Poacher shot and killed reintroduced Cinereous Vulture Ultron in Bulgaria

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Tue

26

May

2020

The only remaining Cinereous Vulture breeding colony in the Balkans

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Sat

23

May

2020

The reintroduced Cinereous Vulture Sliven met a tragic end in Kharkiv, Ukraine

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Thu

21

May

2020

Introducing a schematic sampling protocol for raptor biomonitoring to harmonize procedures across Europe

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Tue

19

May

2020

The first Cinereous Vultures releases at Vrachanski Balkan Nature Park in Bulgaria

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Fri

08

May

2020

From Bulgaria to Ukraine back to Bulgaria and Ukraine again in 30 days — the travels of Cinereous Vulture Sliven

Cinereous Vulture Silven (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
Cinereous Vulture Silven (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
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Thu

07

May

2020

Rehabilitating electrocuted vultures is not an easy task 

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Sun

03

May

2020

Watch vulture videos and nest cams to feel closer to our feathered friends

Griffon Vultures and Bearded Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
Griffon Vultures and Bearded Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
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Sat

02

May

2020

Are vultures really becoming livestock predators? Shedding some light on negative misconceptions and false accusations – new paper

Griffon Vultures (c) Gianluca Damiani
Griffon Vultures (c) Gianluca Damiani
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Tue

28

Apr

2020

Tagging vultures: Why swift field response is essential to save birds and inform conservation actions

Tagging a Cinereous Vulture with a GPS tag/ illustrative
Tagging a Cinereous Vulture with a GPS tag/ illustrative
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Sun

26

Apr

2020

Lords of the Rhodopean Skies — a new online wildlife photography exhibition available for a limited time

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Fri

24

Apr

2020

Research review: new article demonstrates the value of research for effective vulture conservation

Cinereous Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
Cinereous Vulture (c) Hansruedi Weyrich
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Thu

23

Apr

2020

Updates from the reintroduced Cinereous Vultures in Bulgaria

Cinereous Vulture VCF Know-How (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
Cinereous Vulture VCF Know-How (c) Hristo Peshev/ FWFF
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Wed

22

Apr

2020

Earth Day 2020: Why it is more important than ever to preserve our nature and vultures

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Sat

18

Apr

2020

The wandering Cinereous Vulture Riga returned home!

Riga together with a potential partner during her second time wintering in southwest Greece, February 2020 (c) Dionisos Mammasis
Riga together with a potential partner during her second time wintering in southwest Greece, February 2020 (c) Dionisos Mammasis
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Thu

16

Apr

2020

Where did Cinereous Vulture Caparica travel to after its rehabilitation and release?

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Tue

14

Apr

2020

Touring around Mallorca the Cinereous Vulture way

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Tue

07

Apr

2020

Latest newsletter of the IUCN Vulture Specialist Group

Egyptian and Griffon Vulture (c) Atanas Delchev
Egyptian and Griffon Vulture (c) Atanas Delchev
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Sun

05

Apr

2020

Reintroduced Cinereous Vultures form a pair in Bulgaria for the first time since the species extinction

Balkan and VCF Know-How (c) Green Balkans
Balkan and VCF Know-How (c) Green Balkans
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Mon

30

Mar

2020

Reintroduced Cinereous Vulture Extremadura killed by electrocution in Bulgaria

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Sun

29

Mar

2020

Research review: New study illustrates how larger vulture species and older individuals are most dominant when competing at carcasses

Cinereous and Griffon Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous and Griffon Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Sat

28

Mar

2020

The journey of Cinereous Vulture Brínzola comes to a tragic end after a year of many adventures

Rescuing Brínzola (c) Egil Ween
Rescuing Brínzola (c) Egil Ween
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Wed

25

Mar

2020

Watch: From extinction to recolonisation to reproduction - the return of the Cinereous Vulture in Portugal

Cinereous Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Tue

24

Mar

2020

Cinereous Vultures started mating in Bulgaria again!

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Thu

19

Mar

2020

Life, vultures and COVID19 – we live in a brand-new world

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Sun

15

Mar

2020

IUCN's Vulture Specialist Group position on the role of vultures in disease transmission

Bearded Vulture (c) AmandaGuercio
Bearded Vulture (c) AmandaGuercio
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Wed

11

Mar

2020

The Cinereous Vulture Barnabie has a new mission in life

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Sun

08

Mar

2020

New records for the rare Cinereous Vulture in the Central Balkan and Vrachanski Balkan

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Wed

26

Feb

2020

The VCF at the CoP13 of the Convention for Migratory Species

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Tue

25

Feb

2020

The Griffon Vultures in the Eastern Rhodopes reached nearly 100 pairs

Griffon Vultures © Plamen Dobrev
Griffon Vultures © Plamen Dobrev
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Mon

24

Feb

2020

Vulture winter wonderland in the ‘Sinite Kamani’ Nature Park

Vulture aviary (c) Green Balkans
Vulture aviary (c) Green Balkans
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Thu

20

Feb

2020

Vulture MsAP Strategic Implementation Plan Launched

African White-backed Vulture (c) Andre Botha
African White-backed Vulture (c) Andre Botha
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Tue

18

Feb

2020

Griffon Vulture pair laid a second egg in Green Balkans' centre!

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Sat

15

Feb

2020

Recent wildlife poisoning in Croatia left many animal casualties

The dead Golden eagle (c) BIOM
The dead Golden eagle (c) BIOM
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Fri

14

Feb

2020

Mass poisoning causes a heavy blow to the largest colony of Griffon Vultures in mainland Greece

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Thu

13

Feb

2020

Yet another Portuguese Cinereous Vulture returned to the wild after rescue and rehabilitation

(c) RIAS
(c) RIAS
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Wed

12

Feb

2020

More fallow deer released in the Eastern Rhodopes to help improve the natural food availability for vultures

(c) Stefan Avramov
(c) Stefan Avramov
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Mon

10

Feb

2020

The fascinating travels of the young Griffon Vulture T89

Griffon Vulture T89 ins flight (c) HOS/BirdLife Greece
Griffon Vulture T89 ins flight (c) HOS/BirdLife Greece
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Tue

04

Feb

2020

Griffon Vultures colonised Mallorca and joined the resident Cinereous Vultures – a novel project now studies the consequences of this phenomenon

Griffon Vultures and Cinereous Vultures feeding in Mallorca (c) Manuel de la Riva
Griffon Vultures and Cinereous Vultures feeding in Mallorca (c) Manuel de la Riva
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Thu

30

Jan

2020

Attracting Cinereous Vulture pairs in Kotel Mountain

Cinereous Vultures at Kotel Mountain (c) Hristo Peshev/FWFF
Cinereous Vultures at Kotel Mountain (c) Hristo Peshev/FWFF
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Mon

27

Jan

2020

The breeding season for the Cinereous Vulture pair in the Green Balkans' rescue centre has begun

The pair at the centre
The pair at the centre
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Sun

26

Jan

2020

Missing Cinereous Vulture Bessie found dead after collision against power lines

Cinereous Vultures Arpín and Bessie (on the right) when they were a pair (c) GREFA
Cinereous Vultures Arpín and Bessie (on the right) when they were a pair (c) GREFA
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Tue

21

Jan

2020

Prison, fine and hunting disqualification for a hunter who poisoned four vultures in Spain

Dead Griffon Vulture/illustrative (c) Jovan Andevski/ VCF
Dead Griffon Vulture/illustrative (c) Jovan Andevski/ VCF
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Sun

12

Jan

2020

The GPS movements of the first-ever wild Portuguese Cinereous Vulture tagged stopped. What happened?

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Fri

10

Jan

2020

Competition: Win a GPS tag - suitable for Griffon or Cinereous Vultures

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Thu

09

Jan

2020

Cinereous Vulture in Spain killed by ingesting illegal poisoned bait

Cinereous Vulture in flight/illustrative (c) Joe A Doublet
Cinereous Vulture in flight/illustrative (c) Joe A Doublet
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Wed

08

Jan

2020

Gulper, ripper and scrapper: anatomy of the neck in three species of vultures

Griffon Vulture & Cinereous Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy, Hooded Vulture (c) Janette BM
Griffon Vulture & Cinereous Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy, Hooded Vulture (c) Janette BM
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Tue

07

Jan

2020

Five feeding sites built in the Greek part of Rhodope Mountains as part of LIFE Re-Vultures

After 9 months of operation, 10 Griffon Vultures, 5 Cinereous Vultures and Egyptian Vulture pair have been recorded.
After 9 months of operation, 10 Griffon Vultures, 5 Cinereous Vultures and Egyptian Vulture pair have been recorded.
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Mon

30

Dec

2019

Vulture Conservation – 2019 Overview

(c) Bruno Berthemy
(c) Bruno Berthemy
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Fri

27

Dec

2019

Cinereous Vulture Conservation - 2019 Overview

Cinereous Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Mon

23

Dec

2019

Der Falke special issue on vultures: Biology - Threats - Conservation

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Fri

13

Dec

2019

Wildlife-human conflict in Greece: wolves, vultures and actions

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Thu

05

Dec

2019

Updates from the Vultures Back To LIFE reintroduced Cinereous Vultures

The forming couple between the male Balkan and female VCF-Know how
The forming couple between the male Balkan and female VCF-Know how
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Wed

04

Dec

2019

Bulgaria is about to adopt a national strategy to combat illegal wildlife poisoning

(c) Dimitar Gradinarov
(c) Dimitar Gradinarov
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Tue

03

Dec

2019

Vulture Conservation Foundation Film - Together for Vultures

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Sun

01

Dec

2019

Rescue and rehabilitation of Cinereous Vulture Barnabie

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Wed

13

Nov

2019

Cinereous Vulture spotted flying over Azraq Wetland Reserve (Jordan) for the first time

Cinereous Vulture flying over Azraq Wetland Reserve (Jordan) (c) AWR/RSCN
Cinereous Vulture flying over Azraq Wetland Reserve (Jordan) (c) AWR/RSCN
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Thu

31

Oct

2019

Vulture Research Update: October 2019

Cinereous Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Tue

29

Oct

2019

How many vultures are there in the Alps?

Griffon Vultures in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
Griffon Vultures in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Fri

25

Oct

2019

Cinereous Vulture Orca ready to be re-released

Orca (c) CERVAS/Ricardo Brandão
Orca (c) CERVAS/Ricardo Brandão
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Fri

18

Oct

2019

Riga on the move: from the Alps to the Balkans

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Fri

11

Oct

2019

Tackling the threat of electrocution in the Eastern Rhodopes to protect vultures

(c) Atanas Delchev/BSPB
(c) Atanas Delchev/BSPB
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Mon

07

Oct

2019

An overview of the European Vulture Conference

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Wed

02

Oct

2019

Day 2 of the European Vulture Conference

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Tue

01

Oct

2019

Day 1 of the European Vulture Conference

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Wed

25

Sep

2019

Rhodopean Cinereous Vulture pair undertakes aerial adventures

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Tue

24

Sep

2019

The European Vulture Conference is a week away - what to expect

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Thu

19

Sep

2019

The Cinereous Vulture population in Mallorca has multiplied by ten in nearly 40 years

Cinereous Vulture nest in Mallorca (c) Jordi Muntaner
Cinereous Vulture nest in Mallorca (c) Jordi Muntaner
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Thu

12

Sep

2019

Dr François Sarrazin will give a keynote presentation on the restoration and conservation of scavenger populations during the European Vulture Conference

Cinereous and Griffon vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous and Griffon vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Sat

07

Sep

2019

Get to know Europe's vultures - key facts and conservation

Europe's vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Europe's vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Thu

29

Aug

2019

The Cinereous Vulture chicks released in Bulgaria have successfully fledged!

Ultron and Barnabie (c) Vultures Back to LIFE
Ultron and Barnabie (c) Vultures Back to LIFE
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Tue

27

Aug

2019

Together we can save vultures

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Thu

22

Aug

2019

Portuguese Action Plan for the Conservation of Necrophagous Birds finally published in Diário da República

Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Svetoslav Spasov
Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Svetoslav Spasov
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Wed

21

Aug

2019

Exchanging knowledge for breeding Cinereous Vultures

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Sat

17

Aug

2019

New feeding station in Serbia aims to improve food opportunities for vultures

Building the feeding station in Pešter (c) Milorad Babic
Building the feeding station in Pešter (c) Milorad Babic
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Fri

09

Aug

2019

Two Cinereous Vultures are the new inhabitants of the Balkan Mountains in Bulgaria

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Thu

01

Aug

2019

Announcing the Scientific Programme of the European Vulture Conference

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Tue

30

Jul

2019

Releasing Cinereous vultures on Tuesday 6 August – join us in Kotel, Bulgaria

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Tue

23

Jul

2019

Five Griffon Vultures tagged in Western Iberia to reveal feeding behaviour

Griffon Vulture feeding (c) Bruno Berthemy
Griffon Vulture feeding (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Sat

20

Jul

2019

4 Vultures - Photography Contest

Cinereous Vultures and Griffon Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous Vultures and Griffon Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Thu

18

Jul

2019

All together for Vultures: Immediate action prevents possible wind turbine collision for Cinereous Vulture Carrascalinho in Spain

 Cinereous Vulture Carrascalinho (c) João Tomás
Cinereous Vulture Carrascalinho (c) João Tomás
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