The Egyptian Vulture Spartacus shows us its wintering grounds in Africa [ 2010-11-19 11:11:22 ]

Chad is a country in Central Africa known as “the dead heart of Africa”. It could turn out that exactly Chad is the main wintering area for the Bulgarian Egyptian Vultures and probably the Balkans too. This year BSPB satellite tagged a juvenile Egyptian Vulture named Spartacus. Almost daily through internet we receive data with the geographic coordinates of the location of the bird which are taken by the transmitter every two hours. Reaching the central parts of Chad, Spartacus started decreasing the average distance which he flew daily from 300 to 70-80 km. Recently Spartacus ceased its typical migratory behavior and settled in a small area inhabited by pastoralists livestock herders nearby the Fitri lake, 120 km east of the lake Chad and the capital city N`djamena.


During its exhaustive migration Spartacus did two more prolonged stopovers for accumulating of body reserves. The first place was the Senafir Island administered by Saudi Arabia. It is situated in Red Seas’s Tyran straits close to the southernmost point of Sinai peninsula. Spartacus spent 8 day there after which continued towards Africa. He did not cross the Red Sea at that point and choose the safer way by going back 300 km north to Suez and by this way going round the Red Sea. The second resting place where he spent 17 days was a very small village in Eastern Chad in the surroundings of the Ennedi plateau. There Spartacus recovered by the long and dangerous crossing of Sahara over which he flew 1700 km in 6 days.
On the maps below are shown some of the places visited by Spartacus during his journey for which we could know now only thanks to the satellite telemetry.
We wish Spartacus good luck and strong will for survival!
 

We express our gratitude to Ed Keeble (RSPB), David Broadly (Richmond & Twickenham RSPB Group), Barbara Cross and Michael Roberts (RSPB) for financial support for buying of the satellite transmitter.
 


1.	A roosting place on a high-voltage electric pylon in the Eastern Rhodopes 2.	A roosting place on a cliffs over a village in Southern Turkey 3.	An urbanized area with cliffs close to Damascus, Syria
1. A roosting place on a high-voltage electric pylon in the Eastern Rhodopes 2. A roosting place on a cliffs over a village in Southern Turkey 3. An urbanized area with cliffs close to Damascus, Syria
4.	A peak used for roost in southern Sinai peninsula 5.	8 days on a Senafir island 6.	A rocky valley in Western Sinai 7.	Generalized map of Spartacus migration
4. A peak used for roost in southern Sinai peninsula 5. 8 days on a Senafir island 6. A rocky valley in Western Sinai 7. Generalized map of Spartacus migration
8.	Rocky hill East of Nile river used for roost 9.	Agricultural lands in Sahara on the border between Egypt and Sudan 10.	Oazis and suitable for roosting cliffs in Sudaneese Sahara 11.	The place for 17-day rest in Eastern Chad
8. Rocky hill East of Nile river used for roost 9. Agricultural lands in Sahara on the border between Egypt and Sudan 10. Oazis and suitable for roosting cliffs in Sudaneese Sahara 11. The place for 17-day rest in Eastern Chad
12.	Map of the whole autumn migration of Spartacus
12. Map of the whole autumn migration of Spartacus