Within the last two weeks a total of 8 griffon vultures, and several other animals (wolves, foxes and other raptors), have been found dead in Kresna Gorge (Bulgaria), illegally poisoned. The griffon vultures found dead constitute the bulk of the local breeding population, so their offspring have also probably perished. Unfortunately, the number of poisoned griffons may be even higher, and may surpass 15-20, as before the first dead birds were found there were about 50 griffons in the area, while now there are only 5 to 10. A few days ago, one poisoned wolf was found, which indicates that the poisoning is continuing and there is still danger for the remaining griffon vultures!
Continue reading Massive poisoning incident(s) in Kresna Gorge, Bulgaria deals a blow to the recovering Balkan griffon vulture population
Photo: Dave Walker/BirdLife Cyprus
The griffon vulture Gyps fulvus is the largest and arguably the most impressive bird species found on the island of Cyprus. As is sadly the case with many vulture species around the world, the population of griffons in Cyprus is in a bad way. The earliest historic accounts about the species referred to it as common in the plains as herds of sheep and goats, but by 2012 there were fewer than 10 birds left on the island.
Continue reading Griffons in peril in Cyprus – only 21 birds left and no breeding in the last two years
Walkers managed to find a dead Peregrine Falcon by a footpath at Newbiggin next to Croglin estate where numerous birds of prey have previously gone missing. Amazingly the dead Peregrine was found close to where a BTO ringed Hen Harrier was also found. The Harrier had flown all the way from the Isle of Colonsay only to die on this estate.
Continue reading Shot Cumbrian Peregrine found at same location as dead Hen Harrier
North Yorks Police are appealing for information after a red kite was found dead in Nidderdale. On the afternoon of Saturday 11 March, a dead red kite was found near Greenhow, in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire.
Continue reading Police investigation after red kite found dead in Nidderdale
The first report of illegal hunting came on Saturday, with Birdlife Malta reporting that it had recovered an injured Marsh Harrier. It said the bird was certified shot by the veterinarian.
The spring hunting season opened 24 March 2017.
Continue reading Shot Marsh Harrier is first casualty of spring hunting season – Birdlife Malta
A Bearded Vulture incubating a clutch of eggs in captivity
100 years after going extinct in the Alps, the bearded vulture is now back to the alpine skies – 40+ established territories and a record number (25!) of wild-born fledged young in 2016, in one of the most celebrated and spectacular wildlife comebacks in recent decades in Europe.
Continue reading Annual report for the 2016 bearded vulture captive breeding season just published – record breaking season, with 27 young produced and 17 reintroduced back to the wild.
We are fortunate to have 2 nature reserves situated around the Solway where cropping is used to feed winter finches and buntings.
Cropping is often used to feed game birds using a mix of plants producing seed and also acting as tall cover for the birds. Game keepers often position the crop so that beaters can drive the pheasants or partridge towards the guns.
Continue reading Cropping and Hen Harriers
Vultures are obligate scavengers, as they depend totally on carrion. Facultative scavengers, like foxes, on the other hand exploit carrion opportunistically and are generally ubiquitous.
We have recently received the above photos from our colleague Tulsi Subedi, who is researching bearded vultures in the Himalayas. Tulsi had seen this brutal picture posted in social media last December. The photo was taken in Bajura district, in far-western remote mountainous area of Nepal.
Continue reading Human persecution still a threat to Himalayan bearded vultures