Improvement of breeding niche for Egyptian Vulture [ 2009-10-12 03:09:25 ]


On October 10th, 2009 a team of BSPB and FWFF modified a natural cliff niche in Kotlenska Mountain making it siutable for Egyptian Vultures to breed. Still in 1993 the species became extinct from the Kotel region but appeared again in the summer of 2009 as a result of the started Griffon Vultures reintroduction, and four non-breeding Egyptian Vultures stayed for a few months in the area. One of the birds was observed visiting a cliff niche siutable for breeding.

This motivated us to improve the conditions for breeding of the species and during previous visit in the region in late September another cliff niche was chosen and visited. By size and exposition it was perfect for Egyptian Vultures, but was difficult to fly in. The problem with landing on it originates from the fact that the cliff from the two sides of the niche was too projected and forming something like a furrow with the niche on its bottom. To make possible the occupancy of the niche by Egyptian Vultures we decided to project the outer edge of the niche through constructing a platform in its entrance. After seven hours of hard work on the cliffs we succeeded to construct a 120 cm long platform from armature bars, grid, stones and concrete which will allow the birds to land.

In oreder to improve the chances for nest occupation a new visit is planned in the spring of 2010 for reconstruction of Egyptian Vulture’s nest. For this will be used nest materials and food remains from active nests of the species from other parts of the country.

Our hope is that the Griffon Vultures reintroduction started by the team of FWWF will continue successfully and the returned Egyptian Vultures will find the cliff niche siutable for breeding.

The improvement of nauiral cliff niches and the construction of new ones is widespread practice in the conservation of some threatened cliff nesting bird species, such as The California Condor and Prairie Falcon in USA, The Bald Ibis in Turkey, The Peregrine Falcon in Germany and USA, The Golden Eagle in Japan and Slovakia, The Bonelli’s Eagle in Spain, etc.

In Bulgaria the method is used for first time in 1994 for repair of destructed breeding niche of Egyptian Vulture in Strandzha Mountain and subsequently the pair bred again in the improved nest.