Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus)

Common name in other languages:
Dutch Aasgier; German Schmutzgeier; French Perconptère d´Egypte; Spanish Alimoche; Portuguese Britango; Swedish Smutsgam

Size: 58-70 cm

Weight: 1,6-2,2 kg

Wingspan: 155-170 cm

Life expectancy: up to 37 years in captivity

 

Features: This vulture species is considerably smaller than the other vultures in Europe. Adult animals have a bald yellow head and throat, and a white collar. The plumage is a creamy white, in sharp contrast with the black wing coverts. Young birds are brown with paler wings coverts, and slowly whiten with each mould. Like Bearded vultures, Egyptian vultures sometimes rub themselves with soil rich in ferric oxides, hence the German name ‘Schmutzgeier’.

 

Distribution: During the last decades, the number of Egyptian vultures declined dramatically in Europe. The largest European population is located in Spain (1300 to 1500 pairs). Except in France, where there are currently around 70 breeding pairs, the number of birds across Europe is still decreasing sharply, with over 50% in the last three generations.

 

Behaviour: Egyptian vultures are opportunists and eat very varied. Their diet consists mainly of carrion, but also small mammals, young birds, fish, eggs and even rotting fruit. The species can fly up to 80 kilometers per day in search of food. Due to their smaller size, Egyptian vultures must often wait for other species to have finished eating. The thin beak is perfectly adapted to catch the small pieces of leftover meat on carcasses. Also, they can break an egg by repeatedly dropping stones on it.

 

The Egyptian vulture is the only European vulture that migrates to Africa in winter. This is why they breed later in the year than other vulture species, and lay on average two eggs in April or May. Couples build nests together, in rocky areas, often on cliffs. 

 

Sat

19

Sep

2020

Upcoming Virtual Vulture Trivia Quizzes — for adults and families

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Wed

16

Sep

2020

Vulture watching: Tarifa during bird migration - the European region where you might see six vulture species!

Rüppell's Vulture in Tarifa (c) Javi Elorriaga/ Birding the Strait
Rüppell's Vulture in Tarifa (c) Javi Elorriaga/ Birding the Strait
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Mon

14

Sep

2020

Four more captive-bred Egyptian Vultures released in Basilicata as part of the restocking efforts in Italy

Zoe, one of the Egyptian Vultures released in 2020 (c) LIFE Egyptian Vulture
Zoe, one of the Egyptian Vultures released in 2020 (c) LIFE Egyptian Vulture
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Fri

11

Sep

2020

Research review: study finds no clear evidence that vultures spread microorganisms to humans and other species, but more likely reduce disease transmission

Griffon Vultures/illustrative (c) Pilar Oliva
Griffon Vultures/illustrative (c) Pilar Oliva
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Sat

05

Sep

2020

Why we need to protect vultures

Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
Griffon Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
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Wed

02

Sep

2020

Critical EU vote this Thursday to ban lead shot in wetlands – and that matters to vultures too!

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Sat

29

Aug

2020

Celebrate the International Vulture Awareness Day on 5 September with us!

European vulture species (c) Bruno Berhtemy
European vulture species (c) Bruno Berhtemy
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Fri

28

Aug

2020

Research review: New study demonstrates prevalence of high lead contamination among raptors, especially scavengers, in Europe

Graphical abstract (Monclus et al. 2020)
Graphical abstract (Monclus et al. 2020)
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Wed

26

Aug

2020

Egyptian Vultures: the start of autumn migration

Fangueiro shortly after his release (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
Fangueiro shortly after his release (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
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Mon

24

Aug

2020

Vulture Scavenger Hunt — an educational activity for children

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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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Tue

04

Aug

2020

Four new Egyptian Vulture territories occupied in the Balkans

Egyptian Vultures in Meteora, Greece © Dimitris Vavylis / HOS-BirdLife Greece
Egyptian Vultures in Meteora, Greece © Dimitris Vavylis / HOS-BirdLife Greece
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Tue

21

Jul

2020

Second-ever Egyptian Vulture hatched and fledged in Sardinia

Egyptian Vulture chick hatched in Sardinia on 2020 in flight (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Egyptian Vulture chick hatched in Sardinia on 2020 in flight (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
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Sat

18

Jul

2020

Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro gets new feathers to be able to fly again in the wild

Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro after release (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
Egyptian Vulture Fangueiro after release (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
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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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Sun

12

Jul

2020

Egyptian Vulture baby hatched in a nest built on a transmission tower — first record in Spain and Europe

Egyptian Vulture nest on a pylon (c) Junta de Extremadura
Egyptian Vulture nest on a pylon (c) Junta de Extremadura
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Wed

08

Jul

2020

Egyptian Vultures in Italy — upcoming releases and movements of released birds

One of the Egyptian Vultures that hatched in2020 (c) CERM
One of the Egyptian Vultures that hatched in2020 (c) CERM
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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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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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Wed

01

Jul

2020

Surveying for poison bait use in Albania

(c) AOS
(c) AOS
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Tue

30

Jun

2020

Egyptian Vulture family found dead in the Eastern Rhodopes Mountain in Bulgaria

© BSPB
© BSPB
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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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Wed

24

Jun

2020

More Egyptian Vultures poisoned to death in the Canary Islands than previously thought

Tagging the rehabilitated Egyptian Vulture ahead of its release back to the wild (c) Egyptian Vulture LIFE project
Tagging the rehabilitated Egyptian Vulture ahead of its release back to the wild (c) Egyptian Vulture LIFE project
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Tue

09

Jun

2020

French Egyptian Vulture Buoux returns to the wild after almost a year in recovery

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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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Mon

01

Jun

2020

How are Egyptian Vultures perceived?

Egyptian Vulture (c) Iordan Hristov
Egyptian Vulture (c) Iordan Hristov
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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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Fri

22

May

2020

Watch two newly hatched Egyptian Vulture siblings in the wild in Israel

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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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Mon

18

May

2020

Will Egyptian Vultures breed in Sardinia again?

Egyptian Vulture carrying nesting materials in Sardinia 2020 (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Egyptian Vulture carrying nesting materials in Sardinia 2020 (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
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Sat

09

May

2020

Over 900 migratory Egyptian Vultures observed in Turkey during one month

Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Tue

05

May

2020

One less Egyptian Vulture pair in the Canary Islands — poisoning killed the pair and left a breeding female in critical condition

The poisoned Egyptian Vulture in the incubator (c) Oasis Wildlife Fuerteventura
The poisoned Egyptian Vulture in the incubator (c) Oasis Wildlife Fuerteventura
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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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Wed

29

Apr

2020

The latest Egyptian Vulture national census in Spain demonstrates that the species population is stable

Egyptian Vulture (c) C. Bougain
Egyptian Vulture (c) C. Bougain
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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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Sat

25

Apr

2020

Rare sighting of a juvenile Egyptian Vulture in South Africa — the species is thought to be extinct in the country

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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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Wed

22

Apr

2020

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

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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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Tue

31

Mar

2020

Research review: Intensive monitoring reveals interesting parenting behaviours of Egyptian Vultures during the nesting cycle

Egyptian Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
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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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Fri

27

Mar

2020

Four Egyptian Vultures are back on our radar - will they migrate back to Europe?

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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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Tue

10

Mar

2020

Egyptian Vulture Faia is the first LIFE Rupis bird to safely cross the Strait of Gibraltar on her way back home this spring

(c) VCF
(c) VCF
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Wed

04

Mar

2020

Intentional poisoning of wildlife is now a crime in Albania

(c) AOS
(c) AOS
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Wed

26

Feb

2020

The VCF at the CoP13 of the Convention for Migratory Species

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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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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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Sat

08

Feb

2020

Sign the petition to help protect Egyptian Vultures in Aragon (Spain)

Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Tue

28

Jan

2020

Results from the three methods used to release captive-bred Egyptian Vultures in the Eastern Rhodopes in 2019

(c) Yana Nikolova
(c) Yana Nikolova
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Sat

25

Jan

2020

Research review: Technical-scientific order for the analysis of the diet of Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) in the Douro Canyon

Egyptian Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
Egyptian Vulture (c) Pilar Oliva
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Thu

23

Jan

2020

More Egyptian Vultures tagged with GPS transmitters in Ethiopia and new insights into the threats they face revealed

© Volen Arkumarev
© Volen Arkumarev
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Fri

17

Jan

2020

What duties do Egyptian Vulture pairs share during the breeding period?

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Wed

15

Jan

2020

Released Egyptian Vulture Kate found dead in Western Sicily after spending only two months on the island

Kate photographed by Carmelo Fiore during her stop in Calabria
Kate photographed by Carmelo Fiore during her stop in Calabria
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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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Sat

28

Dec

2019

Egyptian Vulture Conservation – 2019 Overview

Egyptian Vulture (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian 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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Sun

22

Dec

2019

Are Egyptian Vultures under threat from NSAIDs in Greece?

Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Fri

13

Dec

2019

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

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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

24

Nov

2019

Joint efforts save young Egyptian Vulture Anna

Egyptian Vulture Anna (c) Volen Arkumarev
Egyptian Vulture Anna (c) Volen Arkumarev
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Thu

21

Nov

2019

The second round of interviews to investigate wildlife poisoning in Albania

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Fri

08

Nov

2019

Great international cooperation allows for the release of Egyptian vulture Iberia in Europe's only wintering area – but the bird had Africa on its mind!

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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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Sat

12

Oct

2019

The epic migration of the Egyptian Vulture

Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Joseba Alberdi
Egyptian Vulture in flight (c) Joseba Alberdi
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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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Sat

28

Sep

2019

More LIFE Rupis Egyptian Vultures migrated to Africa

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Tue

24

Sep

2019

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

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Wed

18

Sep

2019

Sara and Tobia returned to Africa

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Sat

14

Sep

2019

Crossing the Strait of Gibraltar: Egyptian Vultures Britango and Faia on the move

Equipping Faia with a GPS transmitter in 2017 (c) VCF
Equipping Faia with a GPS transmitter in 2017 (c) VCF
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Wed

11

Sep

2019

New study reveals amazing flexibility of migration among Egyptian Vultures

Egyptian Vultures soar and glide from Europe to Africa and back every year (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian Vultures soar and glide from Europe to Africa and back every year (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Tue

10

Sep

2019

Eight captive-bred Egyptian Vultures released in Italy to boost the population

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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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Fri

06

Sep

2019

The mystery of the Egyptian Vulture in Lamoso feeding station…solved!

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Wed

28

Aug

2019

Egyptian Vulture Tizón continues to surprise us with his movements

Tizón in NP Monfragüe - picture taken in 2018 (c) Ángel Sanchez
Tizón in NP Monfragüe - picture taken in 2018 (c) Ángel Sanchez
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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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Tue

13

Aug

2019

Four captive-bred Egyptian Vultures released into the wild in Bulgaria

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Thu

08

Aug

2019

Continuing our monitoring efforts to understand Egyptian Vulture behaviour in the Douro (Spain-Portugal border)

One of the young Egyptian Vultures recently tagged with a GPS transmitter (c) Carlos Pacheco ATN/António Monteiro ICNF
One of the young Egyptian Vultures recently tagged with a GPS transmitter (c) Carlos Pacheco ATN/António Monteiro ICNF
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Sat

03

Aug

2019

Update on summer movements of LIFE Rupis Egyptian Vultures: July 2019

Fitting Douro with a GPS transmitter in 2017 (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
Fitting Douro with a GPS transmitter in 2017 (c) Vulture Conservation Foundation
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Thu

01

Aug

2019

Announcing the Scientific Programme of the European Vulture Conference

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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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Tue

16

Jul

2019

Restoring natural feeding scenarios for Cinereous Vultures in Spain

Cinereous Vulture feeding (c) Bruno Berthemy
Cinereous Vulture feeding (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Wed

10

Jul

2019

Our latest keynote speaker at the European Vulture Conference, Dr Steffen Oppel, will discuss Egyptian Vulture threats and conservation strategies

Egyptian Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
Egyptian Vultures (c) Bruno Berthemy
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Wed

03

Jul

2019

The many challenges and adventures of the recently released Egyptian Vultures in Bulgaria

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Tue

25

Jun

2019

Egyptian Vultures are losing their reign in the Balkans

Egyptian Vulture at Kotel Mountain (c) Hristo Peshev
Egyptian Vulture at Kotel Mountain (c) Hristo Peshev
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Tue

18

Jun

2019

Securing the future of vultures in Israel

Egyptian and Griffon Vulture chicks (c) Erez Erlichman
Egyptian and Griffon Vulture chicks (c) Erez Erlichman
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Sat

15

Jun

2019

New hope for Egyptian Vultures as eggs keep on hatching at the Green Balkans' Rescue centre

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Sat

01

Jun

2019

Egyptian vultures Sara and Tobia finally returned to Italy

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Fri

31

May

2019

Griffon Vulture conservation actions in Sardinia attracted Egyptian Vultures

Egyptian Vulture feeding in Sardinia (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
Egyptian Vulture feeding in Sardinia (c) LIFE Under Griffon Wings
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Thu

30

May

2019

First flights of freedom for captive-bred Egyptian Vultures in Bulgaria

One of the captive-bred Egyptian Vultures photographed at a feeding station after their release
One of the captive-bred Egyptian Vultures photographed at a feeding station after their release
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