Satellite tracking

The satellite tracking is an effective method to obtain answers of many questions, important for the conservation of endangered species. In the Egyptian Vulture most needed is the information answering what are the reasons for mortality among the birds and what are the migration routes and wintering areas in Africa. Moreover the data from the transmitters inform us for the foraging territory, for the most important habitats and many others. The answers of these questions are of big importance for the optimal planning of the most aspects of the conservation strategy.

In 2010 we tagged with satellite transmitter a juvenile Egyptian Vulture, given the name Spartacus. Passing many dangers, Spartacus succeeded in reaching the wintering areas of the Egyptian Vultures in Africa – the Sahalian bels south of Sahara desert. More data for his migration can be found here and here. Popular publications for Spartacus’s migration were published in two of the issues of “Za ptitsite”. Sadly, in January 2011 he died in the wintering area in Chad, soon after local nomads from the Goran tribe spotted the transmitter and decided that Spartacus is a bad magician, turned into vulture. We learned this information after sending special team on the spot in Chad.

In the future we envisage use of some more transmitters that will add more crucial information for the migration and wintering of the Egyptian vultures from Bulgaria. Main merit of the data is that they will serve to identify the priority region for initiating of long-term work with local partners in Africa. The number of transmitters will be limited to minimum in order to prevent the exposure of more birds to additional risks.

Spartacus(on the right) with his sibling      Sparcacus, perched on cliff near to the vulture 
in the nest before fledging (28.07.2010)      restaurant near Madjarovo town (24.08.2010)


The  5500 km to Chad covered by Spartacus         The migration flyways of Egyptian Vultures  
                                                  from Spain and France (in green), Italy (blue), 
                                                  Bulgaria (red) and birds recorded in Africa 
                                                  originating from Russia and Pakistan or India