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Vultures of Spain

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Offline jasonhep

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« on: May 17, 2007, 09:58 AM »
I'm researching an article on vultures in Spain (for The Olive Press) and wondered if anyone could point me in the right direction in terms of which types are most common, whether they are protected, declining or rising in numbers etc. I'm particularly interested in species living in Andalucia and would love any interesting stories or anecdotes concerning them. I promise to post the full article when it's written!

Thanks! ;)

Offline Clive

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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 10:02 AM »
Hola,

Jason take a look at the thread in the bird board called "Vultures a few thoughts" to get you started..

Clive
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 11:04 AM »
Hi Jason, welcome to the forum!

there are 4 species of vultures in Spain, one being prolific and the others more scattered or rare. Here are their names to start you off,

Griffon vulture (English), Gyps fulvus (Scientific), Buitre leonado (Spanish)

Egyptian vulture (English), Neophron percnopterus (Scientific), Alimoche común (Spanish)

Black vulture (English), Aegypius monachus (Scientific), Buitre negro (Spanish)

Lammergeyer or Bearded vulture (English), Gypaetus barbatus (Scientific), Quebrantahuesos (Spanish)

more to follow, regards Sue
« Last Edit: June 26, 2007, 20:06 PM by Sue »
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 11:24 AM »
Hi Jason,

The Griffon vulture is the most common one to be seen all over Spain. They live in large colonies and nest on inaccessible cliff ledges. Their food is carrion from dead farm and wild animals. Supplementary feed stations have ensured a population boom. Closing of some of these stations is causing problems which have been making news headlines through the last few months. As can be seen on the forum thread  "Vultures, a few thoughts" mentioned by Clive.

20/11 Griffon vulture only Spanish vulture out of danger. Population has doubled to 16,000 in last 20 years (El Mundo) : From Iberianature "bird news".

The Lammergeyer is endangered in Europe and undergoing reintroduction and monitoring programs in the Pyrenees and more recently also Andalucia, at Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas in Jaen province.
This next link takes you to a piece by Nick on Iberianature with a further link for the Lammergeyer in Andalucia when you get there.
http://www.iberianature.com/material/birdsspain.htm#November

"The diet of the Lammergeier consists of bones (up to 85% of diet), especially large bones and flesh taken from dead animals (del Hoyo, 1994). It breaks large bones into small pieces which it can eat by flying up with the bone and dropping it on special rocky slopes. Small animals (birds and rodents) are fed to chicks, forming an important part of their diet."  This text is from...
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/directive/birdactionplan/gypaetusbarbatus.htm

back later, regards Sue
« Last Edit: June 26, 2007, 20:11 PM by Sue »
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2007, 12:21 PM »
Hi Jason,

This link takes you to an info page on the Egyptian vulture, it shows distribution, population etc :

http://www.birdguides.com/html/vidlib/species/Neophron_percnopterus.htm

there is a species "drop down" list, top right of the page which contains all four of the vultures by common names, this page is dated 1999 and so the population numbers may have altered a little.

This next site covers different vultures over many areas but worth perusing for news in Spain
http://www.raptorsinternational.de/LAST_CONFERENCE/Abstracts/Old_World_Vulture_Studies/old_world_vulture_studies.html

The Black vulture is the largest raptor in Spain and nests in small colonies in trees. Their distribution is over a smaller area than the Griffon and although protected they are suffering losses. See Lisa's thread here:
 http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?topic=291.0
There is a breeding colony at the Sierra de Morena, Cordoba but Monfragüe in Extremadura is reputed to have the largest colony in the world!

Hope that'll get you started! ;)

Regards, Sue
« Last Edit: June 26, 2007, 20:09 PM by Sue »
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2007, 13:30 PM »
Jason,
depending how in depth you want to make the article but..there is a fifth vulture... which sometimes crosses the Straits and is perhaps being seen more frequently now near Tarifa/La Janda called Ruppell's vulture.
This site "Rare birds in Spain" mentions several reported birds and has an amazing photo too; http://www.rarebirdspain.net/arbsr509.htm#Bruppell

Regards, Sue
« Last Edit: June 26, 2007, 20:12 PM by Sue »
Thinking of visiting the beautiful Sierra de Grazalema in Andalucia?
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Offline jasonhep

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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2007, 23:11 PM »
Dear Sue and Clive.

Thanks for all that info - it's more than enough to get my teeth into for now.

I'll let you know how I get on.

jason. :D