“Vultures are pretty bad-ass creatures - dealing with bacteria that would kill any other species or breeding at -20° in the middle of winter - that's actually quite cool. Beside the importance of vultures for their function to dispose carcasses and hindering the spread of diseases their personality as a group and even more from each single individual fascinates me a lot. Working with animals is not always easy - losses are difficult to deal with but seeing them soaring or encounter a known bird makes it worth spending also countless hours behind the computer to write reports, analyse genetic data or checking GPS tracks to work for their conservation. Being part of the huge vulture-family is very inspiring and makes working for the VCF a real win.”
Franziska Lörcher, 08.03.2018
Franziska Lörcher had her first encounter with bearded vultures when she was a young girl, at the time the first three young bearded vultures where released in Switzerland. After some training to become an optician, and after several years working as such, she completed high-school and studied biology in Bern and Zurich in Switzerland. For her Masters' thesis she got back to the bearded vultures: she investigated the genetic diversity of the reintroduced bearded vulture population in the Alps. She works part time for both the VCF and the Swiss Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture, sharing her time between the reintroduced bearded vultures in Switzerland and coordinating the monitoring, GPS marking and genetic analysis of vultures Europe wide. In her spare time Franziska likes to be outdoors, for hiking, climbing, snowshoe walking, ski touring, and bird and wildlife watching.
“Spying on a tagged Egyptian vulture’s migration route, to imagine the challenges it faces, to realize the energy it takes to fly 4000 km in 10 days, and the excitement it is to see it back safely to the breeding grounds, year after year, is something that never ceases to move me. I am thrilled to be part of a passionate team of people who are trying to protect these incredible creatures, on so many simultaneous fronts. In my office, at home, while vultures fly above, I take care of the VCF budgets and finances. My every day slogan? Saving vultures, one invoice at the time.”
Alice Gama, 08.03.2018
Born in Porto, Portugal, Alice studied Biology in the university of Aveiro. Between 2003 and 2006 she participated in research and field work on birds of prey in Costa Rica and the USA, and the impact of powerlines on bird populations. From 2007 to 2016 she worked at ATN, a regional conservation organisation in northeast Portugal, as a conservation manager. At VCF, she is responsible for the financial management and also the organisation of the major events. In her spare time, Alice has started a sustainable farming family project, producing organic olive oil and almonds in the Northeast of Portugal, close to nesting griffon and Egyptian vultures.
“To care about vultures and wildlife is more fulfilling then to buy a new bag or new shoes. What counts in life is spending time in the nature, caring about animals and friends. Please do so as well at the international women’s day.”
Anna Baumann 08.03.2018
Anna Baumann holds a Master in Business & Administration (in Strategy and Leadership) and also has a a diploma in animal keeping. After working for many years in the banking and telecom industry (in Marketing and Sales but also in Change Management), she started a career in the zoo industry in 2003, and became director of nature and animal park Goldau, Switzerland in 2008. This park is well known for having a bearded vulture captive-breeding center, built in the late nineties. Since then tens of bearded vultures bred in Goldau have been released across the Alps.
And the stars aligned today for a perfect International Women’s Day for Anna: “It is a great pleasure that a bearded vulture hatched this morning, for all the women in the world, at nature and wildlife park Goldau!”