Working in collaboration with Austria’s Hohe Tauern National Park and thanks to GPS tracking devices we fitted to him, we have been able to reveal the extraordinary wanderings of a Griffon vulture showing vultures know no borders.
Green Ring F75
The young wild bird was thought to be around two years when it was one of five Griffon vultures that were caught and fitted with GPS transmitters and ringed in July 2017 at a Vulture Station of the Lago di Cornino Nature Reserve in Friuli, Italy. F75 didn’t have any other rings or markings suggesting they were a wild born individual, but from where it was not known when they were fitted with the transmitter.
Weighing between 30g and 50g GPS transmitters are fitted on the backs of vultures to track their movements without having any significant impact on the birds themselves. The highly efficient solar powered satellite transmitters send their GPS position over the mobile communications network and can provide as many as 500 location-fixes per day. Each transmitter has a lifespan of three to four years . This data offers conservationists vital information about how the birds move around areas, their foraging ranges as well as picks up when a vulture is no longer moving and potentially injured. Combined with data from the field the movement data also allows conservation teams to identify any threats the birds may face during their travels and carry out actions to reduce the risk of death and injury.
Wandering around the southern Europe
After being tagged, F75 was often seen visiting the Vulture Station at Lago di Cornino Nature Reserve, before starting on an epic journey on 30 May, first to Croatia then on to the Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria then heading westward to Switzerland before heading south to Rome and continuing west via the Marittime Alps in Italy and was seen stopping at the Baronnies Natural Park, resting on cliffs nest to the bearded vulture release site and after flying over the Pyrenees is currently in Spain.
Follow F75’s travels on the live map on the Hohe Tauern National Park’s website.
Large Raptors of the Hohe Tauern National Park
Austria’s Hohe Tauern National Park is home to three large raptors including the resident bearded vultures and golden eagles and summer visiting Griffon vultures. Griffon vultures like F75 are regular visitors to the Hohe Tauern National Park, visiting from Italy and Croatia and even from as far away as Israel and Spain. Working with conservation organisations like us here at the Vulture Conservation Foundation on reintroduction and monitoring projects the teams at Hohe Tauern are working to support these populations of these magnificent birds.
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