birds

Articles in ‘birds’

Lammergeyer continues recovery in Aragón

May 5th, 2017

The lammergeyer or bearded vulture is continuing to recover in Aragón, its Iberian stronghold, with 90 pairs recorded in 2017, up from less than 40 in the 1980s. More here

Chicks from Aragón are to be taken to teh Picos de Europa to help in the reintroduction project there. Here

Diclofenac NSAIDS and Spanish Vultures..

November 27th, 2014

Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vulture – Clive Muir – www.wildsideholidays.com

Back in 2008 on the Iberia Nature forum we started a topic about the use of Diclofenac in Asia and, as the drug was about to be used in Europe, it stayed in the Spain sections rather than going in the “other places” boards… And it seems with good reason. If you fancy trawling through the wealth of information about this subject then the main topic is here.

Apart from this amazing topic on the forum pretty much everything you need to know now about this disgusting drug proven to kill vultures in their millions can be found over at the Vulture foundation…. Loads of papers and up to date news…

As the deadline for a final decision by the EU Commission on banning veterinary diclofenac approaches, vultures really need you.

Veterinary diclofenac is extremely toxic to vultures, and has been banned from the Indian subcontinent after causing a 95-99% decline of several vulture species there. Incredibly, it has been approved for use on livestock in Italy and Spain.

The Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) has been leading a campaign, together with other organisations, to ban this drug in Europe too: given the existence of a non-toxic alternative (Meloxicam), common sense suggests a precautionary approach should be taken.

We had therefore asked the EU Commission to start a procedure for the withdrawal of an authorized veterinary medicinal drug which affects Community interests, Under Article 35 of Veterinary Medicines Directive (2001/82/EC). You can see more details about veterinary diclofenac, its impacts, and the whole campaign, here

http://www.4vultures.org/2014/11/25/vultures-need-you-please-write-to-your-meps-about-veterinary-diclofenac/

http://www.4vultures.org/our-work/campaigning-to-ban-diclofenac-in-europe/

Follow them on facebook as well
https://www.facebook.com/vultureconservationfoundation

Catalan Bonelli’s eagles are critically endangered.

April 12th, 2014

bonellis-paintingI just came across this fairly amazing website with very much up to date information and research into Western Europes Bonelli’s Eagle populations. The latest studies are showing that the population in Northern Spain is at greatest risk.

The studies, based long-term monitoring of Bonelli’s Eagle populations in the Iberian Peninsula have revealed demographic relationships among different populations and has provided an insight into population dynamics in Western Europe.

The Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata) is one of the most typical -and most endangered – raptors of the Mediterranean region and the Conservation Biology Group of the University of Barcelona (UB) has been researching this species Since 1980 perhaps the most amazing thing of all is the website is in English and all of the studies are freely available to read.

Go to the website – Conservation Biology Group of the University of Barcelona here.

And of course Join in on the subject over at the Iberianature forum.

The use of poison in Spain…. What is it killing?

March 21st, 2014

aparecen-envenenadas-1With the latest news coming from Zamora that includes a Spanish Imperial eagle, amongst other carrion birds, killed from the consequences of poisoning, I thought I’d have a search around the net for similar news and information.

The Vulture Conservation Council has an interesting page explaining the use of poisons that has affected Spanish Vultures.

A large number of vulture deaths in Europe can be attributed every year to poisoning, arguably the most important threat impacting on vultures today. Figures from Spain are illustrative – data from the Spanish ministry of agriculture show that between the years 2000 and 2010 a total of 40 bearded vultures, 638 black vultures, 348 Egyptian vultures and 2,146 griffon vultures were found poisoned. (The recent extinction of the bearded vulture in the Balkan Peninsula was largely due to extensive poisoning campaigns against wolves and jackals.) Read the rest of this entry

Diclofenac the Vulture killing drug is now available on EU market

March 9th, 2014

griffonUnbelievably, this news comes as a surprise to many vets, biologists and very experienced people working in the world of Spanish wildlife. Diclofenac is a powerful anti-inflammatory drug that has wiped out vulture populations in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Now, a repeat of this ecological disaster is threatening Europe. Despite the fact that safe alternative drugs are readily available, Diclofenac has been authorised for use on domestic animals in Italy, and in Spain where 80% of European vultures live, and is now becoming widely available on the EU market. According to experts in SEO/BirdLife (BirdLife in Spain), RSPB (BirdLife UK) and the Vulture Conservation Foundation, this may cause a European mass die off of endangered and ecologically valuable wildlife….

Read the rest of this entry

Ospreys as a tourist attraction

November 5th, 2013

The reintroduction programme which was begun in 2003 of the osprey in Andalucia is proving a success. This year the nine pairs of osprey have raised 31 chicks. Now the Andalusian government plans to use the birds to attract tourists, following the UK examples of a Welsh observation post, Rutland Water and Sutherland in luring visitors.  More in El País

Kestrels raised in window box

May 13th, 2011


Charming three-minute video from a tower block in Vall Hebrón in Barcelona of kestrels being raised in a window box for flowers . The pair of kestrels have been raising chicks for the last seven years in the same place.  The kestrels have chosen a good home and the flat owner has even dedicated a poem to them. My friend Sergi Garcia explains why tower blocks are such a good environment for kestrels.

Hundreds of puffins found dead on Cantabrian coast

April 25th, 2011


More than 200 puffins have been found dead along the coasts of Asturias and Cantabria in the last six weeks. SEO/Birdlife, who are unsure as to the cause, suspect the real figure could be in the thousands.  More here

Vultures on the roads

April 5th, 2011

Vultures in Catalonia are being increasingly spotted on the roads in search of roadkill, because of the paucity of their traditional sources of dead livestock: The EU prohibuts abandoning animal cacrasses because of mad cow’s disease. The above photo from La Vanguardia is along the N-230 between Lleida and Val d’Aran.

Lammergeyer eating a bone

March 30th, 2011


Nice, short video of a lammergeyer (bearded vulture – Gypaetus barbatus) swallowing a bone.  The images were  recorded in Tremp, in the Pyrenees at  “La Terret” observatory. Sent to me by recercaenaccio.cat.