Black vulture in Mallorca – new record this breeding season with 25 eggs hatched – but some controversy over access to exclusion areas too.
A benign and favourable spring, and years of conservation efforts, resulted in a record year for the threatened population of black vulture in the island of Majorca: 37 pairs, of which 32 laid eggs, and 25 eggs hatched. Most of these resulted in fledged young, although final results are still coming in.
Virtually all the black vultures nest in the Serra de Tramuntana. The previous record was of 17 fledged young in 2014.
Several factors contributed to this increase, namely the control of the use of poisons, the provision of food for the vultures, the establishment of good practices in the local livestock farms, and protection of nests to avoid disturbance.
The monitoring of vultures is done by the Agentes de Medio Ambiente of the regional government of the Balearic islands. The population has been increasing steadily since the early 80s, when the species almost disappeared from Mallorca.
These excellent results attest to the efforts of the Black Vulture Conservation Foundation, and of the Unidad de Flora y Fauna of the regional government of the Balearic Islands, which have invested a considerable amount of resources in the conservation of this species
However, the conservation of the black vulture in Mallorca has recently been subject to vigorous political debate, with the regional government about to approve a new regulation that will open some areas – previously off limits – to walkers, which local conservationists say will cause disturbance to breeding black vultures. See below a couple of articles (in Spanish) about the situation.
Photos: Cosconar Lillo