Adult Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis)

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1 Adult Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis) FOREWORD Photo: Ch. van Royen, South Africa Now my turn has come to take up the baton in guiding the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture. I take it with respect and gratitude toward my predecessors, the late lamented RICHARD FAUST and MAARTEN BIJLEVELD VAN LEXMOND. I am also most grateful to the other two Members of FCBV s Board who have now resigned, PIERRE GOELDLIN DE TIEFENAU and JAN LOUWMAN. The work they all have done for many years has made of this Reintroduction Project the great success we know today. The Foundation has now to deal with new challenges and new problems, which, I am certain, it will meet with the unaltered strength, enthusiasm and unconditional help of every participant in the Project. Already last year we began to elaborate new strategies, in order to improve the colonisation of the Alps by Bearded Vulture, and to help surviving relict populations in Europe. This work is in progress, although a definite strategy has, as yet, not been decided upon. For sure, we shall have to fight against the use of poison, which unfortunately received new impulses because of the expansion of the Wolf, and we shall have to improve monitoring as it becomes more and more important in following formed pairs and their reproduction, in discovering and checking on those in formation, and above all in quickly detecting possible threats. Monitoring will also have to be adapted to new requirements as with the increasing number of wild born - and therefore unmarked - young, greater experience and competence is needed to determine the age of birds on the basis of the different phases of their plumage. I feel confident that these new challenges will be encountered by all partners with the same passion and spirit of co-operation that was shown in the past. As from my side, I shall be at their entire disposal, whenever they need to contact the Foundation, and hope to come up to their expectations. Dr. PAOLO FASCE President of the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture

2 2 Contents 2005 Foreword 1 Breeding Network Reproduction in Transfers - Increases - Deaths in EEP stock in Reproduction between 1978 and Age distribution in Release Report on Releases in Report on the release in the Hohe Tauern National Park, Rauris Report on the release at the Haute Savoie site in Release in Swiss Nationalpark Engadine in Release in the Argentera - Mercantour site in Wing marks and ring colours from Monitoring Bearded Vulture Monitoring in Engadine, Switzerland in The project: BEARDED VULTURE ON THE MOVE : First results of a satellite tracking study 60 Hohe Tauern National Park - Breeding in the wild Austrian Bearded Vulture Monitoring Status of the Bearded Vulture in Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio in The situation in Aosta Valley and in the National Park Gran Paradiso, Itay 69 The situation in Natural Park Alpi Marittime and the neighbouring region - Italy 70 Monitoring in Piedmont (Western Alps Observers Network) 72 Western Alps Observers Network: results from the first 13 years 73 Pairs and breeding in Haute Savoie Review of Bearded Vulture breeding 2005 in Vanoise and origin of marked Bearded Vultures observed in this massif between 1990 and The situation of Bearded Vultures in Parc national des Écrins (IBM 24) 83 Terminology of population data and reproductive parameters 84 "MONITORING an Evaluation Tool to Determine Reintroduction Success 85 ALPINE MONITORING: effects of release site and natural reproduction on species distribution and population growth 87 Autochthonous Populations Bearded Vulture in the French Pyrenees - Results of the monitoring of The Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) population in the Spanish Pyrenees in Three Years of Bearded Vultures Surveys in Morocco 98 Miscellaneous Actions for the reintroduction of the Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in Andalusia 102 The Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus): Age features and moult process 104 Annual Report of the Breeding Centre Natur- und Tierpark Goldau, Switzerland, Soaring to Extincton: The population status of the Bearded vulture, Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis, in southern Africa 109 The FCBV Annual Meeting, Cuneo, Italy, 18th November FCBV s medium term strategy 117 Techniques of release for Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) in Italy 121 Editorial 126

3 2005 Breeding Network 3 Reproduction in 2005 by Hans Frey * The Vienna Breeding Unit In this breeding season, six pairs produced a clutch: BG 009 x BG produced two eggs (8th/9th and 23rd of December). The first hatched on 31st of January (BG ) without any problems although the embryo was in malposition. The second was still alive and developing on 23rd of January and on 2nd of February but died during hatching on the 14th of January. The single egg of BG 014 x BG was laid on the 25th of December and removed a few hours later to an incubator. The egg was still alive and developing (checks on 23rd of January and on 2nd of February) but died short time before hatching (16th of January). BG x BG 178 had two eggs laid on the 2nd and on 7th of January. The second proved to be infertile, the first was destroyed by the male. The pair BG x BG produced two eggs (29th of December and 6th of January), which hatched on 20th of February in the nest of its parents (BG ) and on 27th of February in the incubator (BG ). Both pulli hatched without any problems. BG 199 x BG laid one egg on 29th of December, the second on 6th of January. The first hatched on 27th of February (BG ), the second on 4th of March (BG ). Both hatchlings needed human help, were very weak during and after hatching, but recovered and developed well. BG x BG had produced two eggs (8th and 14th of December), which hatched on the 30th of January (BG ) and on 5th of February (BG ) without any problems. Remarks on pair BG 009 x BG 006. On 28th of January, female BG limped but continued to incubate. Therefore she was not removed from the facility. On 5th of February, BG was returend from incubator and hand rearing to its parents and female BG 006 immediately started to warm the juvenile and to feed it. On 10th of February, the limping of BG 006 had nearly stopped and an appointment at the CLINIC OF RADIOLOGY (Vet. Med. Univ. Vienna) was chancelled. Remarks on pair BG 014 x BG Male BG 014 was observed playing with the egg, layed a few hours before. He continued to manipulate (lifting it with the bill and dropping it back to the nest) the dummy egg up to eight days after exchanging it. Nevertheless this pair adopted and reared successsfully BG and BG (Liberec Zoo). BG 454 proved to be a rather calm nestling, which did not feed with much enthusiasm during the first days of life, but in the care of this foster pair it developed very well. At the beginning of October, BG 014 fell ill, had to be seperated and died on 11th of November. Remarks on pair BG x BG 178. Although this pair was not successfully reproducing in 2005, both birds adopted and reared BG without any problems. The exchange of the egg on 2nd of January could be done without any movement of the incubating female - the bird stayed in the nest and tolerated this manipulation. Remarks on pair BG x BG This pair adopted BG without any problems and reared it successfully and with great routine. The female immediately started to warm the nestling after moving it into the nest. Remarks on pair BG 199 x BG This pair reared BG without any problems, the male immediately approached the nestling and started to warm it, the female followed short time afterwards. * Department of Pathobiology, Institute of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, A-1210 Wien, Austria.

4 4 Breeding Network 2005 Table 1: Breeding pairs in 2005 AUSTRIA Alpenzoo Innsbruck Tiergarten Schönbrunn BG 019 x BG 021 1st: 13th Jan infertile 2nd:18th Jan 13th Mar Vienna Breeding Unit BG 201 x BG th Dec 17th Feb BG 014 x BG th Dec died on16th Feb BG 009 x BG st:08/09th Dec 2nd:23rd Dec 31st Jan embryo died BG 199 x BG st:29nd Dec 2nd:06th Jan 27th Feb 04th Mar BG x BG st: 29nd Dec 2nd:06th Jan 20th Feb 27th Feb BG x BG 178 1st: 02nd Jan 2nd:07th Jan broken infertile BG x BG st:08th Dec 2nd:14th Dec 30th Jan 04th Feb FRANCE Breeding Centre Haute Savoie BG x BG nd Dec 12th Feb GERMANY Hannover Zoo Nuremberg Zoo Wuppertal Zoo KAZAKHSTAN Almaty Zoo BG x BG rd Feb broken BG x BG st:24th Dec given to falconer 2nd:01st Jan died 3rd:14th Feb 07th Apr BG x BG st:04th Jan broken 2nd:09th Jan rotten BG 159 x BG 270 1st:10th Jan 03rd Mar 2nd:17th Jan 10th Mar BG x BG 347? broken SPAIN Centro de Cría Guadalentín BG x BG st: 18th Dec embryo died 2nd:23rd Dec died 3rd:30th Jan 28th Mar euthanized on 30th of Mar BG 286 x BG 153 1st:09th Dec 02nd Feb 2nd:16th Dec 08th Feb BG x BG th Feb 07th Apr

5 2005 Breeding Network 5 SWITZERLAND Breeding Centre Goldau/Rigi BG x BG th/6th Jan 27th Feb BG x BG th Jan infertile BG x BG th Jan rotten La Garenne BG 034 x BG th Jan 27th Feb Bern Zoo BG x BG th Jan rotten TS-REPUBLIC Prague Zoo Liberec Zoo BG 134 x BG 135 1st: 07th Jan embryo died 2nd:11th Jan broken BG x BG 274 1st: 15th Dec 06th Feb 2nd:22nd Dec 13th Feb Remarks on pair BG x BG Their first offspring of this year (BG ) hatched in the nest of its parents, and was immediately tended by them with great care. The second egg was removed on 2nd of February and hatched on 4th of February in the incubator (BG ). Remarks on pair BG 031 x BG 003. BG 003 was found on the ground of the facility, being rather weak in the morning of 30th of December The bird was seperated and fed by hand, but died on 2nd of January. The remaining male BG 031 received a dummy egg in his nest and immediately started to incubate without his partner. On 7th of August, BG 031 was transferred to BG , a female, hatched in the VBU in After a short time of peacefully sitting side by side, they started a heavy fight and consequently had to be seperated. The next attempt of pair bonding was undertaken on 24th of September. Although two juvenile birds were put into the facility both adults again started a fight and again had to be seperated. BG , a female hatched in the VBU in 2002, was transferred to the facility of BG 031. The male saluted her with only a few and innocuous attacks. On 25th of September BG 031 and BG 104 (then kept together with BG , a male, hatched in Almaty Zoo in 2002; BG 104 behaved very tolerant against the young male), started a fierce fight through the fence of the facility! Wooden blinds had to be installed to prevent injuries. At the beginning of October, female BG , hatched in Prague Zoo in 1989, was added to BG 031 and BG 389. Both adult birds showed aggressive behaviour but this diminished after a few days. In the course of December, both birds got along with each other, the female being dominant. The birds sat together, built nest (although never directly observed), BG 031 defended the facility against a dog. Pair bonding has happened but copulations were neither observed nor heared. Nevertheless, the young female BG 389 was removed from the facility. Remarks on BG and BG A young pair, both hatched in the VBU in 1999, started a number of copulation attempts, but failed. The male scuttled around but never mounted the female. Both showed intensively nest building behaviour. Remarks on BG and BG As mentioned above (remarks on BG 031 x BG 003), it was tried to pair BG 031 with BG 104. This attempt failed. The female BG 104, hatched in 1988 proved much more tolerant towards the 3 year old male BG 399. Only slight aggressions were observed whereas fierce fights against the adjacent BG 031 were seen. In the middle of December, again slight aggression of BG 104 towards the much younger BG 399 was observed but it never escalated into serius fights. The female built a nest.

6 6 Breeding Network 2005 Remarks on MALE PAIR BG 204, Oskar x BG 065 (Crete-Bird). This pair received a dummy egg on the 25th of December and immediately started to incubate. BG 065 manipulated and fiddled about the artificial egg. This stopped seven days later and BG 065 continued incubation wihtout any problems. Remarks on BG 156, this single male, hatched in Almaty Zoo in 1982 was put together with female BG end of September This attempt of pair bonding had to be cancelled as the male behaved rather anxiously and the female rather dominant. A few days later, the male limped and had to be seperated from BG 104. BG 156 did not start with nest building up to middle fo December 2004, although a nest-base was prepared by the keeper. On 18th of January, a dummy egg was put into the trough and BG 156 immediately started to incubate. On 7th of August, BG 156 was put together with female BG , hatched in the VBU in 2002, but on 24th of September, BG 389 was transferred to BG 031. The female returned to BG 156 at the end of October. BG 389 behaved dominant but not very aggressive towards the older male. BG 389 occupied the nest site at the platform, BG 156 the nest below the platform. Summary - Vienna Breeding Unit Six pairs laid 11 eggs (at least). Seven young hatched, nearly all of them in the incubator. After a maximum of seven days of handrearing, the nestlings were adopted by their parents or foster parents. All of them survived. Breeding Station Haute-Savoie Pair BG x BG laid one egg on 22nd of December, which hatched on the 12th of February (BG ) but died seven days later from yolk sack infection. Breeding Centre Goldau/Rigi, Switzerland Three pairs are kept in the Swiss Breeding centre in 2005, each of which produced a clutch. Hans and Macha (BG x BG ) had one egg on 5th/6th of January. It hatched on 27th of February (BG ). Felix (BG ), paired with the subadult female BG , had their egg on 9th of January. This egg was infertile. BG (Winnie), paired with BG laid her egg on 25th of January. It did not hatch. Breeding Centre Centro de Cría Guadalentín (CCG), Spain BG x BG had their first egg on the 18th of December, the second on the 23rd of December and the third on 30th of January. The first and the third failed, the second one hatched on 28th of March (BG ). But it had to be euthanized because of a big umbilical hernia. Pair BG 286 x BG 153 laid two eggs on 9th and 16th of December. Both hatched on 2nd and 8th of February (BG and BG ). The third pair, BG x BG 132 had their only egg on 9th of February. It hatched on 7th of April (BG ). Wassenaar Wildlife Breeding Centre, The Netherlands BG x BG did not produce a clutch this year (as in the year before). Furthermore the following already adult pairs did not start reproduction: BG x BG , RFZ-VBU, Austria, BG x BG , CCG, Spain, BG x BG , CCG, Spain,

7 2005 Breeding Network 7 BG x BG CCG, Spain, BG x BG , CCG, Spain, BG 232 x BG , CCG, Spain, BG x BG Haute Savoie, France. Summary - other Breeding Centres Seven pairs laid 10 eggs. Six young hatched, four of them survived. Eight pairs pair did not reproduce. ZOOS AUSTRIA Alpenzoo Innsbruck The founder pair BG 019 x BG 021 laid two eggs (13th and 18th of January). The first proved to be infertile, the second hatched on 13th of March (BG ). Tiergarten Schönbrunn BG 201 x BG laid one egg on 24th of December 2004, which they incubated from the beginning on. It hatched on 17th of February (BG ). SWITZERLAND Bern Zoo Pair BG x BG produced one egg on the 11th of January. Both birds incubated without any disorder but, as in the previous year, the pair failed. La Garenne Zoo The single egg of pair BG 034 x BG was produced on the 5th of January and hatched on the 27th of February (BG ). GERMANY Hannover Zoo BG x BG laid one egg on 3rd of February. It did not hatch. Nuremberg Zoo The pair BG x BG , laid three eggs (24th of December, 1st of January and 14th of February). Only the latter hatched on 7th of April (BG ). Wuppertal Zoo Pair BG x BG , laid two eggs (4th and 9th of January). The first broke during incubation, the second proved to be rotten. TSECH REPUBLIK Prague Zoo This experienced founder pair (BG 134 x BG 135) laid two eggs (7th and 11th of January) but both failed.

8 8 Breeding Network 2005 Table 2: Offspring 2005 STUDBOOK No. PARENTAGE SEX BREEDING STATION/ZOO BG 451 BG 108 X BG 175 m Vienna Breeding Unit BG 452 BG 009 X BG 006 f Vienna Breeding Unit BG 453 BG 286 X BG 153 f Centro de Cría Guadalentín BG 454 BG 108 X BG 175 m Vienna Breeding Unit BG 455 BG 180 X BG 274 f Liberec Zoo BG 456 BG 286 X BG 153 f Centro de Cría Guadalentín BG 457 1) BG 087 X BG 054? Haute Savoie BG 458 BG 180 X BG 274 f Liberec Zoo BG 459 BG 201 X BG 044 m Schönbrunn Zoo BG 460 BG 017 X BG 070 f Vienna Breeding Unit BG 461 BG 199 X BG 107 m Vienna Breeding Unit BG 462 BG 017 X BG 070 f Vienna Breeding Unit BG 463 BG 174 X BG 118 f Breeding Centre Goldau BG 464 BG 034 X BG 130 f La Garenne Zoo BG 465 BG 199 X BG 107 f Vienna Breeding Unit BG 466 2) BG 019 X BG 021? Alpenzoo Innsbruck BG 467 3) BG 124 X BG 041? Centro de Cría Guadalentín BG 468 BG 223 X BG 132 m Centro de Cría Guadalentín BG 469 BG 018 X BG 272 f Nuremberg Zoo BG 470 BG 159 X BG 270 m Almaty Zoo BG 471 4) BG 159 X BG 270? Almaty Zoo 1) BG 457 died seven days after hatching (yolk sack infection?) 2) BG 466 died with an age of 3.5 months after an operation. 3) BG 467 was euthanized after hatching. 4) BG 471 died 14 days after hatching during hand rearing. Sex determination was done by Barbara Gautschi, University of Zurich, Switzerland Liberec Zoo The pair BG x BG 274 laid two eggs (15th and 22nd of December), which hatched on the 6th of February (BG ) and 13th of February (BG ). KAZAKHSTAN Almaty Zoo BG 159 x BG 270 laid two eggs (10th and 17th of January). Both hatched (BG on 3rd of March and BG on 10th of March) but the latter died after 14 days. BG x BG 347. This pair produced one egg, which broke on 17th of March. Pairs with no reproduction in 2005 Furthermore the following already adult pairs did not start reproduction: BG x BG , Antwerp Zoo, Belgium, BG x BG , Tierpark Berlin Friedrichsfelde, Germany, BG x BG , Berlin Zoo, Germany, BG x BG , Chomutov Zoo, Czech Republik, BG x BG , Helsinki Zoo, Finland,

9 2005 Breeding Network 9 BG x BG , Jerez Zoo, Spain, BG 161 x BG , Moscow Zoo, Russia, BG x BG , Ostrava Zoo, Czech Republic, BG x BG ,Ostrava Zoo, Czech Republic, BG x BG , Poznan Zoo, Poland, BG x BG , San Diego Zoo, USA, BG x BG , Stuttgart Zoo, Germany, BG x BG , Vogelpark Walsrode, Germany. Remarks on pair BG x BG in the Helsinki Zoo, Finland. Nest construction and mating was observed, therefore good expectations for the coming breeding seasons. Remarks on pair BG X BG in Ostrava Zoo, Czech Republic. The behavour of this pair too let us expect reproduction in the coming years. Remarks on pair BG x BG in San Diego Zoo, USA. Copulations, nest building and allopreening were observed on a regular basis. But also aggressive behaviour, which resulted in separation of the male for three days at beginning of December Remarks on pair BG x BG in Antwerp Zoo, Belgium. The female proves to be rather dominant. Summary - Zoos Eleven pairs laid 18 eggs. Eight young hatched, six of which were successfully reared by their parents (or foster parents), one died during hand rearing, the other after an operation. Furthermore, eight adult pairs did not start reproduction up to now. Private collaborator The pair BG x BG kept by a private collaborator in Germany mated and constructed a big nest but did not produce an egg as in the former years. The newly formed pair BG x BG (Faucounery du Puy, France) did not lay as well. Total Breeding Centres, Zoos and private collaborators 24 adult pairs, produced at least 40 eggs. 21 young hatched, of these 17 were reared successfully by their parents or foster parents. New participants In 2005, three new zoos and one breeding centre started to participate in the breeding network. BG 480, male, an immature founder in Nikolaev Zoo, Ukraine ( BG 481, male and BG 482, female, founders too, originating from Kirgisia. After confiscation they are now kept in Beograd Zoo, Serbia ( BG , female, handraised, hatched in Almaty Zoo in 2002 and now being kept in Parc Paradisio, Belgium (

10 10 Breeding Network 2005 Breeding Centre Valcallent in Catalonia, Spain. This centre is scientifically supervised by ALEJAND- RO LLOPIS DELL, the main focus will be on Bearded Vultures coming from the Pyrenean population. TRANSFERS - INCREASES - DEATHS TRANSFERS ADDENDUM TO 2004: BG , female, hatched in 1997 in Nuremberg Zoo, Germany and given to a commercial falconry station was transferred from Wildpark Altenfelden, Austria to another commercial falconery station Grand Park du Puy du Fouo, France to be paired with male BG on 11th of December BG was transferred from a private keeper in Czech Republic to Parc Paradisio, Belgium on 28th of October. BG was transported from Vienna Breeding Unit - Richard Faust Zentrum, Austria to Park National du Mercantour, France for release on 12th of May. BG was transferred from Liberec Zoo, Czech Republic to Park National du Mercantour, France for release on 12th of May. BG was transferred from Liberec Zoo, Czech Republic to Vienna Breeding Unit - Richard Faust Zentrum, Austria on 9th of May. BG , was transferred from Schönbrunn Zoo, Austria to Doran, Haute Savoie, France on the 24th of May to be released. BG , was transported from Vienna Breeding Unit - Richard Faust Zentrum, Austria to Doran, Haute Savoie, France for release on 24th of May. BG , was brought from Vienna Breeding Unit - Richard Faust Zentrum, Austria to Nationalpark Hohe Tauern, Großglockner, Austria to be released on 1st of June. BG , was transported from Breeding Centre Goldau, Switzerland to Swiss Nationalpark Engadine on 10th of June to be released. BG , was transferred from La Garenne Zoo, Switzerland to Swiss Nationalpark Engadine on 10th of June to be released. BG , Doraja, was transferred from Hellbrunn Zoo, Salzburg, Austria to Vienna Breeding Unit - Richard Faust Zentrum, Austria on 29th of December. INCREASES Three Bearded Vultures enlarge the breeding stock of the EEP: two males (BG 480, BG 481) and one female (BG 482) in Nikolaev Zoo, Ukraine and Beograd Zoo, Serbia. DEATHS * Female BG 003 died in the VBU, Austria, on 2nd of January 2005 with an age of more than 40 years. BG 003 originated from West-Middleasia, and was bought by Nuremberg Zoo in At this time, the bird was two to three years old. The second Bearded Vulture, which was kept together with BG 003 was transferred to another Zoo in Germany, where it died soon afterwards. Eleven years later, BG 003 was transferred to the VBU, on 18th of November In the beginning only a one year loan agreement was undersigned by the projectleaders and the Zoo Nuremberg. In the VBU, BG 003 was kept together with BG 002. During the first weeks, BG 003 behaved rather dominant and BG 002 tried to avoid her anxiously. He sat in the eyrie only during the night. * The data on the whereabouts of the released offspring of the dead birds were generously provided by IBM-International Bearded Vultue Monitoring NP Hohe Tauern - R.ZINK/EGS, A.S.T.E.R.S, PN Alpi Marittime, PN Stelvio, PN Vanoise, Stiftung Pro Bartgeier

11 2005 Breeding Network 11 First fainthearted copulations attempts were oberserved in January 1978, but without success. In the course of summer 1978, both birds showed signs of pair bonding (allopreening and roosting together in the nest). Joint nestbuilding was observed as from end of September and on 26th of October, the male mounted BG 003 for the first time, but the female fended him off. The first complete copulation was seen in November. In the course of these copulations, the male (suffering from an amputated left wing) sometimes had bloody plumage as the developing feathers were broken during mounting the female. Beside these inconveniences, both birds continued nest building, mainly carrying and working on branches. In December BG 002 fed BG 003 with tiny piecs of meat! BG 003 started to lay in the nest for hours. In 1979, two eggs were laid, one of which hatched in the nest on 20th of March (BG ). Both parents took very well care for their first offspring. In September both birds again started to build at the nest. In 1980, again two eggs were laid, both hatched: BG in the nest of its parents and BG in the nest of a foster pair. In 1981, two eggs were laid, but only one hatched (BG ), the second egg had disappeared. It was the first time that the offspring did not show aggression against the male in late summer/autumn. During the last week of November, a few discrepancies were observed between the pair (BG 002 chased BG 003 from the eyrie), which ceased one week later. In 1982, again two eggs were laid, which both hatched (BG and BG ). In 1983, two eggs were laid. Because of discrepancies during the first days of January (the male took over all brooding duties and chased the female away) both eggs died. Normal brooding behaviour (from 11th of January on) of both adults came too late. In the course of autumn, again harmonic pair behaviour between BG 002 and BG 003 was observed. BG 003 in partcular, intensively built at the nest, mainly carrying and incorporating very big branches. Two eggs were laid in 1984, which were transferred to an incubator one week after laying. Only the second proved to be fertile, but this one died in the course of the last third of incubation. One day after removing the eggs, the pair again started to copulate and BG 003 laid two eggs, which were carefully warmed by both adults. Three weeks after peoduction of the second clutch, both eggs were exchanged against BG , an eight day old nestling. BG 003 immediately started to take care and feed the young, but the nestling tried to resist the warming foster bird (the nestling was not used to being toughed at the backside). After some time the struggling of BG 070 ceased and this young was raised without any problems. The offspring of the pair (BG and BG ) were reared by foster parents. After removing of BG 070 in October, the pair immediately started to build nest and to deepen pair bonding. Again, feeding of BG 003 by BG 002 was observed. In 1985, two eggs were layed, both carefully incubated by the pair. The second egg rolled out of the trough on 11th of January and broke - it proved to be infertile. 34 days after removing of the first egg to foster pair BG 010 x BG 014, a second clutch (one egg) was produced, which was incubated by both birds. BG hatched in an incubator. BG 003 and BG 002 continued brooding on dummy eggs and received BG as an adoptee. The remaining egg of the first clutch proved to be rotten on 11th of Febuary, maybe it died at an early stage of incubation or was infertile. In 1986, two eggs were laid, both had died during incubation. This year, the pair adopted and reared BG In 1987, again both eggs had died during incubation, BG was adopted and reared. In the course of summer, a mud bath was installed in the facility and BG 003 prompt started to colour herself. In September, the facility was renovated and the old eyrie removed. After improving the basic fabric of the nest platform and new eyrie was installed by the keeper. Again two eggs were laid in 1988, both well incubated by the pair. A wooden blind towards the neighbouring facilities proved of value, as the male did not fight at the fences anymore and the number of reliefes was thus deminished. In February, one egg was transferred to an incubator (the second had died) and in return, BG was put into the nest of the pair. One week later the own offspring (BG ) was exchanged against BG 099 and was reared without any problems. Three weeks later this nestling was exchanged against BG Also this adoption and rearing took place without problems.

12 12 Breeding Network 2005 In 1989, two eggs were laid and warmed by both birds. The eggs, both living, were transferred to an incubator were both hatched (BG and BG ). The pair received BG on the day of the transfer of the eggs. One week later, BG 108 was exchanged against its younger sibling BG Also this adoption took place without any problem. It was tried to let the pair rear both nestlings (one adult bird for one nestling), dividing the trough with a beam. But this effort failed as only one adult bird tried to warm only one nestling and was rather disturbed by the wailing sounds of the unprotected nestling (it tried to increase the taking care of the already warmed nestling!). After one hour this attempt was cancelled and BG 108 was removed. On 30th of March, BG 003 seemed to be sick. The bird showed disturbances of the central nervous system, staggered and stumbled, the plumage was slightly ruffled and she was rather apathic. A veterinarian from the University of Munich (Prof. KÖSTERS) arrived to examine the bird. A small necrosis at the palate was detected. Two days later, the bird still seemed to be a little dozily but started to participate in rearing the nestling. No signs of sickness were detected afterwards and she behaved totally normal. Nei-ther the male nor the nestling showed any signs of illness. In the course of summer, BG 003 fully recovered and seemd to be as vital as in the past years. The necrosis had totally healed. In 1990, again two eggs were laid, the bigger one had died during incubation, the smaller smelled rotten but lived. It hatched without any problem in an incubator (BG ). After seven days of hand rearing it was exchanged with BG and reared by its parents for more than three weeks. Then it was exchanged with BG On 8th of April, the eyrie was divided and BG (Dresden Zoo) was added. This time both nestlings were well treated by both adults. On 22nd of April, a third nestling (again BG ) was added. The rearing of all three young birds took place without problems. In 1991, two eggs were laid, one proved to have died, the second developed and hatchd in an incubator (BG ). Substitutional to their egg, the pair received BG , which was exchanged with BG three weeks later. On 9th of March, BG returned to the nest of its parents. In April, it was removed to BG 005 x BG 136 (male pair) to be habituated to BG and BG (all three released in Swiss NP Engadine). BG 003 and her male received BG for further rearing. In October/November, a total renovation of the breeding facility had to be undertaken. The pair was removed to another facility until end of November. After return to their aviary they immediately started to build at the nest and to copulate. In 1992, only one egg was laid and intensely incubated by the birds. The egg broke middle of February. Dummy eggs were immediately transferred to the trough but the brooding mood had vanished. Nevertheless one attempt was undertaken: BG was put inside the trough, protected by a piece of fence. Both adults approached the nestling, eyed it interested and also made chewing movement with the beak. But a few moments later the parental intentions expired and the nestling was removed. In 1992, this experienced pair could not be used as foster parents. In 1993, two eggs were laid and well warmed by both birds. The eggs were removed to an incubator and hatched there (BG and BG ). Incubation stopped on 16th of February (two weeks after exchanging of the clutch) and attempts to encourage the female with the help of dummy eggs failed. BG 003 rolled the dummies out of the trough, BG 002 warmed them, and even pieces of food (in order to distract BG 003) did not work. Four days later, their first nestling was put into the nest (BG 182). BG 002 immdiately started to take care for the young. BG 003 behaved rather nervous, biting into the nesting material and tearing out big bundles of branches and wool. In the course of these displacement activities, she partly demolished the eyrie. In the morning of 21st of February, the female finally approached the young and started to warm it. One month later, the trough was divided and the second young, BG 183 was put into the nest. During the first day, BG 183 was not perfectly fed and snowstorms did not improve the situation of the nestling. After the second day, both young were attended in the experienced way of this pair. In December, heavy snowfalls and shoveling of the snow from the facilitie s roof may have caused that the second egg was destroyed and disappeared. In 1994, only one egg hatched (BG ) in an incubator. The exchanged nestling BG was perfetcly reared by both birds. On 17th of February, male BG 002 fell ill from pox virus, which did not influence the parental behaviour of the bird. BG 003 stayed healthy. On 1st of October, BG 002 died from secondary infections caused by the skin leasons (see AR 2005, p. 8-9), BG 003 did not show any sign of sickness. On 20th of November, BG 199 (adult, founder) was transferred to the facility of BG 003, which did not accept this male. BG 199 was not allowed to roost at the nesting platform, but the female did not chase him through the aviary. During the first

13 2005 Breeding Network 13 half of December, the aggressive behaviour of BG 003 increased and the birds had to be separated. On 16th of December, BG (at this time 11 years old) was put into the facility of BG 003, which behaved very aggressive towards this male. In the course of March 1995, the aggressive behaviour of BG 003 decreased and the male was allowed to sleep at the nesting platform as from 3rd of March. In the course of summer, the pair bonding between the birds increased and as from October, intense nest building, mainly by the male, was observed. During November, a number of copulations were seen and BG 060 defended the eyrie even against the keeper. In 1996, two eggs were laid, one of them had died during incubation, the second hatched (BG ). After transferring the nestling back to the nest of its parents, BG 003 immdiately started to take care for it. But BG 060 behaved aggressive towards the nestling and so BG 263 had to be removed. On 20th of March, BG 060 was separated from BG 003, and the female received BG for rearing. Although the experienced female approached the young, she did not warm it and BG 261 had to be removed. It was then tried to put BG 263 into the nest, but also this young was not warmed for 30 minutes and had again to be transferred. This year, no young was reared by BG 003. In 1997, again two eggs were laid, but after one day the brooding was stopped: the boarding of the side wall of the nesting platform had loosened and the trough had been transferred to the side wall, and now was much too plain. So both eggs had rolled out, one of which had broken. After fixing the boarding and restoration of the trough. On 20th of February, BG 003 was seen incubating a very bright egg on a ledge in the wall. The egg was removed to a foster pair and a dummy egg presented. Both birds continued brooding at the ledge, which was prepared as nest. On 12th of March, BG was transferred to BG 003, who adopted this nestling without problems. Before this, BG 060 had to be transferred to another facility. Two weeks later the nestling was exchanged against BG The exchange and adoption took place without problems, althought the nestling struggled a little bit in the beginning. In 1998, two were laid, one had died, the second was broken. After removing BG 060 (facility with intervisibility to BG 003 and the nestling), BG was put into the trough and immediately adopted. Six days later, this nestling was exchanged with BG (no problems). Ten days later this young was exchanged with BG (again no problems at all). A fourth exchange had to be undertaken on 4th of April: BG was transferred to BG 003 and BG 301 to another pair of foster parents. Again, no problems for the so experienced female, although the new nestling was much smaller and younger. The last exchange was undertaken in June, BG 305 was transferred tro Argentera to be released and BG was transferred to BG 003. Again, the female immediately started to take care for the new young. BG 060 was transferred to Goldau on 6th of July. Five days later, male BG 031, an old founder, was put into the aviary of BG 003. Immediately after the transfer, fierce fights started at the nest. After a few minutes of heavy skirmishing, the female is forced off the eyrie. Even BG 303, the foster nestling, attacked the intruding male, who nevertheless stood up against the two other birds. In the course of the afternoon the situation calmed down and all three birds spent the night together at the nesting platform. Two weeks later both adults were paired, although the young bird still was present in the facility. On 23rd of October, BG 303 had to be removed from the aviay, as the young bird behaved very aggressive towards BG 031 (forcing him to the ground and holding him down). Afterwards, the pair bonding behaviour intensified. In 1999, two eggs were laid and incubated, but both died. BG was exchanged with the clutch and reared without any problems by both adults. Three weeks later, a fierce fight between the adults resulted in transfer of BG 031 to another facility. On the next day, BG 314 was exchanged with BG Two days later, another exchange of nestling had to be undertaken: BG , a weak young of a very rare bloodline was put into the trough of BG 003 and immediately warmed and fed. On 17th of October, BG 031 was returned to BG 003 and pair bonding behaviour continued. In 2000, two clutched were produced: two eggs in January and a single egg in March. But none of these eggs hatched. On 11th of March, BG , a weak nestling, was put into the trough. BG 003 did not show any interest in it, but BG 031 immediately started to take care. Three days later, BG 003 too warmed and fed the nestling. Three weeks later, again a conflict between the adults started: BG 031 attacked BG 003 and did not tolerate her at the nest site. So, the male was caught

14 14 Breeding Network 2005 and soaked in the watering place. Afterwards the male did not show any aggressive behaviour against the female. In May, BG was exchanged with BG 357 and reared without problems. In the course of autumn, both adults showed very harmonic behaviour but did not build at the nest intensively, although they copulated on a regular basis. An interesting observation, involving BG 031 and an immature Corvus frugilegus can be gleaned in AR 2000, p. 5. In 2001, two clutches were produced (one egg each). As BG 003 started to show behavioural abnormities (she did not brood very intensively anymore) the eggs had broken. Dummy eggs, which were put into the nest in February were manipulated by both birds but not incubated in a proper way. Nevertheless the pair copulated until beginning of March. In 2002, again two eggs were laid, one disappeared, the second proved to be infertile. Brooding behaviour of the female was again only incomplete. A nestling was put into the trough on 6th of March (BG ) and during the first three days only warmed and fed by BG 031. Afterwards, also BG 003 participated in rearing the young. In 2003, this oldest pair within the breeding network gave the impression of incubation (laying in the nest in the mornings of 7th, 10th and 31st of January) but did not produce a clutch this year. A dummy egg, given to the pair on the 24th of February, was warmed by BG 031, but BG 003 did not participate. On 12th of March, BG was transferred to this pair. Both birds immediately approached the baby but only BG 031 started to warm it. Also feeding of the young vulture was observed during the following two days only by the male. In the evening of 14th of March BG 003 too started to warm the young. From then on, both reared this young without any problems. In 2004, no clutch was produced. On 31st of January the pair received two dummy eggs, which the male started to brood until 6th of April, when BG was transferred into his nest. The male immediately started to take care for the nestling, the old female BG 003 behaved rather uninterested. When the male left the young on the next day for feeding the female did not take on. So it was removed and exchanged against the older and bigger nestling BG From 8th of April on, BG 003 participated in rearing. BG 003 was found on the ground of the facility, being rather weak in the morning of 30th of December The bird was seperated and fed by hand, but died on 2nd of January. DIAGNOSIS: cardiac insufficiency and senile decay. In all, BG 003 had 18 young, seven in the breeding network, nine were released and two died as nestlings. Only one within the breeding newtork is still alive (BG 044 in Schönbrunn Zoo, Austria) and maybe seven of the released ones. Ten offspring are confirmed dead. BG , male, hatched on the 20th of March 1979 and died on 28th of February 2002 in Breeding Centre Haute Savoie from LEAD INTOXICATION (see AR 2002, p. 11). Nine of his offspring were released in Haute Savoie, Mercantour and Argentera (REPUBLIC, BG 147; REPUBLIC 2, BG 165; REPUBLIC 4, BG 181; GEO, BG 272; REPUBLIC 8, BG 258; REPU- BLIC 11, BG 288; ROUBION, BG 311; PEONE, BG 312 and SERENO, BG 348), one offspring died during hatching. BG , female, hatched on 9th of March After being kept in Wuppertal Zoo from 1988 to 1995, the bird was returend to the VBU. In 2001, she was transferred to Schönbrunn Zoo. Three of her offspring are kept within the breeding network (Poznan Zoo, Poland; CCG, Spain and Monticello, Italy), the fourth was released in Haute Savoie with the name SWARO (BG 459). BG , female hatched on the 14th of March In 1981, the bird was transferred to Tel Aviv, where she died in 1997 from NEWCASTLE DESEASE. This bird had three offspring, two died in the breeding network, the third was released in Swiss Nationalpark Engadine with the name VALIMOSCHE (BG 220; see AR 1997, p. 8). BG , male, hatched on the 27th of January From 1981 to 1997 it was kept in Dortmund Zoo. From 1997 to 1998 in CCG and again from 1998 to 1st of November 2001 in Dortmund Zoo, where it died from ASPERGILLOSIS. In all, this male had 10 offspring, four of which had died, one is still living in Stuttgart Zoo, Germany and five were released (BG 144; CIC, BG 186; PISOC, BG 210; FIRMIN, BG 229 and DORAN, BG 339; see AR 2001, p ).

15 2005 Breeding Network 15 BG , male, hatched on the 5th of March In 1988 it was transferred to Basel Zoo, where it died on 8th of February His partner BG died three weeks later. 27 and 4 days before the male died, rat poisoning was carried out in the facilty of the Bearded Vultures with CHLOROLOSE (see AR 1993, p. 15). This male remained without any offspring. BG hatched on 10th of March 1982 but disappeared from the nest of foster parents two days later. BG , female, hatched on the 28th of March In 1989, the bird was transferred to Nuremberg Zoo, Germany where it died on 29th of January 1993 from lead intoxication (the artificial mud for colouring contained lead, AR 2003, p. 15). This female had no offspring. BG , male, hatched on 2nd of April In 1984 it was transferred to Poznan Zoo, Poland where it died on 25th of August 1993 from swallowing a piece of rubber (AR 2003, p. 15). This male had no offspring. BG , hatched on 9th of April 1985 but died on 26th of April This bird was rather weak and ailing from the time of hatching on. BG , male, hatched on 23rd of February 1988 and was released in Nationalpark Hohe Tauern in Rauris (Salzburg) named ULLI. See AR 1993, p. 7; AR 1994, p. 47. A total of 744 observations are existing of this bird, mainly from the Hohe Tauern. The last verified observation was made in Rauris, Austria, on 9th of February Afterwards this bird got lost. BG , male, hatched on 12th of February 1989 and was released in Nationalpark Hohe Tauern with the name JOEY. This bird spent most of its life in the greater area of Hohe Tauern. Only on 15th of August 1990, it was observed in Triest (!), Italy. The last verified observation was made in Rauris, Austria on 16th of September 1990, the last hypothetical on 20th of January 2001 in Heiligenblut, Austria. This bird was most likely the male partner of PAIR HEILIGENBLUT in Austria. See AR 2000 p AR BG , male, hatched on 22nd of February 1998 and was released in Haute Savoie, France, named ROBESPIERRE. This bird died in November 1989 after colliding with a power line. The bird would maybe have survived the accident but was stamped to the ground by a herd of cattle. The injured BG 114 could not escape and died a few days after rescuing (see BG Bulletin, No. 12, p. 25). Only very few observations exist from this bird, the last verified from 17th of September 1989 in Les Reposoir, France. BG , female, hatched on 20th of February 1990 and was released in Nationalpark Hohe Tauern, named LOTTE. This bird migrated a lot during the first two years of life (two observations from Italy). The last verified observation was made on 11th of February 1992 in Mallnitz, Austria, the last hypothetical on 12th of June 2000 in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria. It is assumed that this bird lives in Lungau and south of Katschberg (Austria) since See AR 1999, p. 56. BG , male, hatched on 28th of February 1991 and was released in Swiss Nationalpark Engadine with the name SETTSCHIENT. A total of 561 observations are existing of this male. The last verified observation was made in Val di Dentro (Italy) on 18th of April This bird was the male partner of PAIR BORMIO from 1995 until See AR 1996, p. 48, AR 1997 p , AR 1998 p , AR 1999, p , AR 2000 p , AR 2001 p , AR 2002 p The wild born birds BGW02 STELVIO (1998), BGW07 DIANA- STELVIO (2000), BGW09 STELVIO01 (2001) and BGW13 BEVERIN-STELVIO (2002) are offspring of this bird. BG , female, hatched on 14th of February 1993 and was released in Haute savoie with the name REPUBLIC 5. A total of 197 observations are recorded, mainly from Switzerland but also fromfrance and Italy. The last verified observation was made on 15th of September 1996 in Conthey, Switzerland, the last hypothetical on 16th of August 1997 at the same site. This bird was shot on 4th of November 1997 in Wallis, Switzerland. See AR 1993, p. 30. AR 1997 p BG , male, hatched on 20th of February 1993 and was released in Nationalpark Hohe Tauern with the name HELMUT (see AR 1993, p ). Last verified observation of

16 16 Breeding Network 2005 this bird was made on 6th of October 1994 in Le Reposoir, France, the last hypothetical one on 15th of August 1995 in Cogne, Italy. This bird got famous as swimmer in the Atlantic Ocean : AR 1994, p BG , female, hatched on 18th/19th of February 1994 and was released in Nationalpark Hohe Tauern with the name HANS-RUPERT. A total of 58 observations are recorded. This bird was rather active in the greater area of Hohe Tauern and visited all three federal states of the National Park (Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia). The last verified observation was made on 7th of July 1995 in Badgastein, the last hypothetical on 12to of June 2000 in Bad Kleinkirchheim. See AR 1994, p. 16 and AR 2000 p. 64 and 67. BG , male, hatched on 4th of March 1996 and was released in Swiss Nationalpark Engadine, named BERNA. A total of 454 observations were recorded, covering Switzerland, France and Austria. The last verified observation was made on 30th of January 1999 in Zernez, Switzerland, the last hypothetical on 28th of September 2005 in Böckstein, Austria. See AR 1996 p. 23. AR 2000 p AR 2003, p AR 2004 p. 56 and 58. Since 2002, BG 263 is the male partner of the Austrian PAIR GASTEIN. Male BG 014 died in the VBU, Austria, on 11th of November 2005 with an age of more than 35 years. BG 014 originated from the former Sovjetunion and was bought from a dealer in the Netherlands by Zurich Zoo, Switzerland on 4th of May At this time, the male was sexual mature. In 1975 the bird was transferred to Alpenzoo Innsbruck, Austria where it stayed only for seven months. From 1975 to 1979, BG 014 was kept in Hannover Zoo, Germany and from 29th of May 1979 until his death in the VBU/RFZ. At first, BG 014 was kept together with BG 008 (both being males) and BG 013 and very quickly proved to be a very dominant bird, chasing both residents from the nest site. Two months later, pair bonding behaviour was observed between BG 013 and BG 014 and BG 008 had to be removed from the facility. In the course of autumn/winter, the nest was enlarged and first copulations were heared. In 1980, BG 013 stayed longer periods laying in the nest. Both birds incubated a dummy egg rather intensively, which was exchanged against a Bearded Vulture egg (from BG 002 x BG 003). This egg hatched without problems, but the pair did not feed the nestling (its begging was rather weak), although they warmed it. So the pullus was removed and fed by hand for one day. The adult birds started to feed it two hours after putting it back into the nest. From that time on, was reared without problems, even if BG 013 overtook more duties at the begining. In 1981, again a dummy egg, placed into the trough at the beginning of February was intensively incubated. This year, neither a fertile egg nor a nestling was available to be dapoted by the pair. In 1982, again a dummy egg was intensively warmed as in the past year. On 7th of March, a fertile egg was put into the trough. Three days later, the nestling obviously had hatched but disappeared on 13th of March. On 17th of June, BG 014 was transferred to BG 010, female founder (see AR 1996, p. 9). Six weeks later, pair bonding and very harmoic behaviour was seen. In 1983, both adults incubated a clutch but a check on 15th of February revealed an empty trough. It was assumed that a nestling had hatched but died (BG ), as the female was intensively brooding during the days before. During October, only imperfect nest building was observed. One egg was laid but proved to have died. In 1984, one egg was laid but proved to be infertile. Both birds continued brooding on dummy eggs until first third of March. During autumn, both birds intensively built at the nest. In 1985, two clutches were laid, the first one (a replacement clutch from season 1984/85 broke during incubation), the second one (laid middle of December) proved to be living and well developed. Both eggs hatched in February 1986 (BG and BG ; see AR 2004 p and AR 2003, p. 6 and 10 respectively). In the season 1986/87, two eggs were laid but both were broken because of heavy snowfalls - parts of the nest were covered with snow. No replacement clutch was produced, despite continuing copulations.

17 2005 Breeding Network 17 In the course of summer 1987, a mud bath was established and both birds immediately stained themselfs intensively red. In 1988, one egg was laid which died despite intensive and careful incubation by the pair. On 26th and 27th of February, heavy snowfalls caused the roof of the facility to break, only the fence averted a total collaps of the roof. In the course of summer 1988, the aviary was restored and the roof racks were strengthened. In 1989, again one egg was laid, carefully incubated by both adult birds but again broke on 5th of February. In 1990, again a single egg was laid and carefully incubated. Nine days before hatching it was removed to an incubator. As usual, the female BG 010 defended her nest and clutch with beak and wings while the keeper exchanged the egg with an egg of another pair (from Dresden Zoo). BG (Josef) hatched in the incubator without problems and was reared by foster parents (first female BG 026, then pair BG 002 x BG 003). In 1991, the clutch again was lost. In the course of summer, the new neighouring pair BG 031 x BG 006 was heavily attacked by BG 010 and BG 014 (through the fence). BG 031 was a very aggressive bird (one female killed, another combatted), which caused conter-attacks by the pair. In the course of summer, a blind had to be established between the two facilities. Nevertheless BG 014 and BG 010 reacted aggressive on sounds from the neighbouring pair. Sounds of wing beats were enough to cause attackes on the blinds! Therefore also in 1992 the clutch was lost. The situation had calmed down in 1993 and in this year, two eggs were laid both intensively incubated by both adults. A third egg (from BG 009 x BG 041) was immediately accepted and the pair continued brooding. One of these eggs disappeared and the remaining proved to have died. Another egg (from BG 065 x BG 040) was put into the trough. This one developed well and hatched (BG 191, Winfried released in Rauris, Austria in 1993). In 1994, the egg again proved to have died (maybe disturbances during the first third of icubation because of heavy snowfalls). In 1995, one egg was laid, which hatched in an incubator. BG was reared by foster parents (BG 031 x BG 006). The exchanged egg of BG 009 x BG 041 broke during incubation (AR 1995, p. 3). In 1996, one egg was laid but broke after 10 days. In this time mainly BG 014 warmed the egg. Female BG 010 had difficulties to climb the nest. After installing of additional branches and shelves as stairs to the eyrie, BG 010 immediately sat in the nest and produced a second egg, which again broke (AR 1996, p. 3). On 23rd of October 1996, BG 010 died (AR 1996, p. 9). Three days later, BG , born in Pague Zoo, Czech Republic in 1989 was put into the facility of BG 014. These two birds very quickly formed a pair and first copulations were observed in the course of December. In 1997, two eggs were laid. The first broke, the second disappeared (see AR 1997, p. 3). In 1998, one egg was laid but the embryo died shortly before the end of its development. Again, as in 1997, a few behavioural difficulties were observed: the female did not recognize her mate when his plumage was wet from a bath. So she prevented him from entering the nest (AR 1998, p. 3-4). In 1999, one egg was laid which died two weeks later (AR 1999, p. 3). In 2000, two eggs were laid, no young hatched (AR 2000, p. 3 and 5). At Christmas 2000, the female attacked her partner: again she did not recognize him after a bath. So the bathing pond was covered and water only for drinking was offered. In 2001, two eggs were laid, the first broke, the second disappeared (AR 2001, p. 3). In 2002, again two eggs were laid, both broke short time after laying. However, ths pair was used as foster parents for BG (AR 2002, p. 3). In 2003, one single egg was laid, which broke one day later. Incubation continued on a dummy egg and BG was adopted and reared without problems (AR 2003, p. 3). In 2004, the single egg broke as in the years before. The pair reared two foster nestlings: BG from Prague Zoo and BG from Hannover Zoo (AR 2004, p. 3).

18 18 Breeding Network 2005 In 2005, again one egg was laid which developed during incubation. But again it did not hatch. Video supervising revealed that BG 014 manipulated the newly laid egg as well as a dummy egg. Nevertheless, the pair adopted and reared BG and BG (Liberec Zoo) without any problems. At the beginning of October, BG 014 started to show signs of illness. The male was separated from BG 133 (which consequently was transferred to BG 031 and BG 389 a young female hatched in 2002, see p. 35, this issue). BG 014 died on 11th of November 2005 from aspergillosis. In all, BG 014 fathered five offspring, three died, two are still living in the breeding network: BG hatched on 14th of February This pullus disappeared in the evening of the day of hatching. BG , male, hatched on 9th of February 1986 and died on 31st of March 2004 in the VBU/RFZ. This bird was father of 15 offspring, six were released (BG 283, TELL; BG 285, SINA; BG 357, RETIA; BG 370, ROURE; BG 373, CHRISTA and BG 393, STIFT), four live in the breeding network (Antwerp Zoo, Centre Haute Savoie, Tel Aviv University Zoo, Jerez Zoo) and five died as nestlings (AR 2004, p ). BG , male, hatched on 17th of February 1986 and now living in Centre Haute Savoie. This male is father of BG 335, REPUBLIC 13. (AR 2003, p. 6 and 10). BG , male, hatched on 5th of February 1990 and died on 2nd of June 2003 in Breeding Centre Goldau (AR 2003, p ). This male was father of six offspring, two of which died as nestlings, two are still living within the breeding network (BG 233 in Walsrode and BG 298 in Berlin Zoo) and two were released (BG 395, MARTELL in 2002 and BG 424, THURI in 2003). BG , male, hatched on 31st of January 1995 and is now kept in CCG, Spain. He is father of one offspring, BG 468, hatched in BG , hatched on 13th of March in Alpenzoo Innsbruck. This bird, a rather delicate vulture, was reared by its parents until 2nd of June. Then it was transferred to the release site Großglockner in Nationalpark Hohe Tauern. During the preperations for the carriage to the release cave, HANS FREY realised that the bird never seemed to be frightened or aggressive towards the surrounding humans. A closer inspection revealed that the bird was blind on both eyes. So it had to be exchanged and instead of BG 466, BG was released. The bird was transferred to the VBU/RFZ and on 1st of July an operation was done at the clinic of surgery of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna to remove the eye lenses. All went well in the course of the two hour operation but in the end, a heart failure caused its death. The following nestlings died during or short time after hatching: BG hatched on the 12th of February 2005 in Breeding Centre Haute Savoie. It died seven days later the cause of death could not be determined exactly. Maybe it died from an infection of the yolk sack. BG hatched on the 28th of March 2005 in the CCG. It was euthanized after hatching. BG , hatched on the 10th of March 2005 in Almaty Zoo. It died during hand rearing on the 24th of March. Special thanks go to all collaborators of the breeding network of the EEP and those of the Reintroduction Project, who helped entirely benevolently.

19 2005 Breeding Network 19 Table 3. EEP Stock in December 2005 No (m/f) LOCATION Age m Age f PARENTAGE {m/f}/{m/f} GENERATION m/f REMARKS /157 Almaty 31 /{154/155} /F1 347/ Almaty 7* 7* wildcaught/ parent/ * handraised 159/270 Almaty wildcaught/wildcaught parent/parent 310/432 Almaty 12 7 wildcaught/wildcaught parent/parent 470/ Almaty 1 {159/270}/ F1/ 058/234 Antwerp Zoo {019/021}/{086/104} F1/F2 294/292 Berlin Friedrichsfelde 8 8 {017/070}/{199/107} F1/F1 298/320 Berlin Zoo 8 7 {122/118}/{018/272} F2/F2 148/142 Bern {019/021}/{009/041} F1/(F1/F2) 481/482 Beograd?? wildcaught/wildcaught parent/parent 286/153 CCG?? wildcaught/wildcaught parent/parent 124/041 CCG 16 26* {131/132}/{034/035} F1/F1 * handraised 362/278 CCG 6 9 {080/081}/{065/074} F2/(F1/F2) 337/317 CCG 7 7 {201/044}/{017/070} (F1/F2)/F2 313/330 CCG 7 7 {009/006}/{108/119} (F1/F2)/(F3/F2) 172/290 CCG 14 8 {031/006}/{134/135} (F1/F2)/F1 232/329 CCG? 7 wildcaught/{043/040} parent/f2 /103 CCG 18 /{065/040} /(F1/F2) 217/ CCG 12* {051/049}/ F2/ * handraised /360 CCG 6 /{018/272} /F2 368/ CCG 6* {159/270}/ F1/ * handraised 371/ CCG 5 {105/178}/ (F2/F1)/ 391/ CCG 4 {124/041}/ F2/ 223/132 CCG {014/010}/wildcaught F1/parent 410/412 CCG 3 3 {286/153}/wildcaught F1/parent /453 CCG 1 /{286/153} /F1 /456 CCG 1 /{286/153} /F1 468/ CCG 1 {223/132}/ (F2/F1)/ 340/338 Chomutov 7 7 {018/272}/{134/135} (F2/F1)/F 1

20 20 Breeding Network 2005 No (m/f) LOCATION Age m Age f PARENTAGE {m/f}/{m/f} GENERATION m/f REMARKS 160/277 Faucounery du Puy 24 8 * {154/155}/{018/272} F1/F1 * handraised 145/091 Goldau {131/132}/{005/006} F1/F2 060/276 Goldau 23 9 {034/035}/{199/107} F1/(F1/F2) 174/118 Goldau {134/135}/{154/155} F1/F1 046/ Grünau 26 {022/023}/ F1/ handraised 080/081 Hannover {019/021}/{004/027} F1/F1 087/054 Haute-Savoie {014/010}/{034/035} F1/F1 297/115 Haute-Savoie 8 16 {086/104}/{019/021} (F2/F1)/F1 179/281 Helsinki 25 9 {154/155}/{131/132} F1/F1 202/ Hochlehnert 18 {150/151}/ F1 handraised 203/218 Hochlehnert {150/151}/{080/081} F1/F2 019/021 Innsbruck wildcaught/wildcaught parent/parent 351/352 Jerez 6 6 {017/070}/{086/104} F2/(F2/F1) 034/130 La Garenne wildcaught/{150/151} parent/f1 180/274 Liberec {161/162}/wildcaught F1/parent both handraised 394/397 Monticello 4 4 {034/130}/{201/044} (F1/F2)/(F1/F2) 161/125 Moscow wildcaught/{009/041} parent/(f1/f2) 342 Moscow 6 6 {159/270} F1 handraised 480/ Nikolaev 3 wildcaught/ parent/ 018/272 Nuremberg {019/021}/{161/162} F1/F1 both handraised /469 Nuremberg 1 /{018/272} /(F2/F2) 325/322 Ostrava 7 7 {017/070}/{152/153} F2/F1 207/233 Ostrava {017/070}/{122/118} F2/F2 /398 Parc Paradisio 3 /{159/270} /F1 handraised 134/135 Prague wildcaught/wildcaught parent/parent 328/336 Poznan 7 7 {080/081}/{201/044} F2/(F1/F2) /381 Riga 5 /{159/270} /F1 handraised 047/209 San Diego 25* 12 {034/035}/{150/151} F1/F1 * handraised 129/212 Stuttgart {051/049}/{152/153} F2/F1 201/044 Schönbrunn, Vienna wildcaught/{002/003} parent/f1

21 2005 Breeding Network 21 No (m/f) LOCATION Age m Age f PARENTAGE {m/f}/{m/f} GENERATION m/f REMARKS 431/ Tallin 6 wildcaught/ parent/ handraised /319 Tel Aviv, Univ. 7 /{086/104} /(F2/F1) 217/ Valcallent Centre 12 {051/049}/ F2/ handraised 031/133 VBU-RFZ wildcaught/{134/135} parent/f1 009/006 VBU-RFZ wildcaught/{019/020} parent/f1 065/ 204/ VBU-RFZ 34? wildcaught/ wildcaught parent/ parent 199/107 VBU-RFZ? 18 wildcaught/{150/151} parent/f1 017/070 VBU-RFZ {019/021}/{022/023} F1/F1 /104 VBU-RFZ 18 /{030/026} /F1 105/178 VBU-RFZ {161/162}/wildcaught F1/parent 108/175 VBU-RFZ {065/040}/{152/153} (F1/F2)/F1 376/137 VBU-RFZ 5 21 {180/274}/{154/155} (F2/F1)/F1 327/314 VBU-RFZ 7 7 {105/178}/{009/006} (F2/F1)/(F1/F2) /389 VBU-RFZ 4 /{199/197} /{F1/F2} 399/ VBU-RFZ 4 {159/270} F1/ 414/ VBU-RFZ 3 {105/178}/ F2/F1/ /436 VBU-RFZ 2 /{180/274} /F1/F2 437/ VBU-RFZ 2 {180/274}/ F1/F2/ 444/ VBU-RFZ 2 {080/081}/ F2/ 156/ VBU-RFZ 23 {154/155}/ F1/ 451/ VBU-RFZ 1 {108/175}/ (F1/F3)/F2 461/ VBU-RFZ 1 {199/107}/ (F1/F2)/ 454/ VBU-RFZ 1 {108/175}/ (F2/F3)/F2 /458 VBU-RFZ 1 /{180/274} /(F2/F1) 190/227 Walsrode {152/153}/{011/054} F1/F2 076/303 Wassenaar 21 8 {022/023}/{009/006} F1/{F1/F2} 043/040 Wuppertal 26* 26 {019/021}/{034/035} F1/F1 * handraised

22 22 Breeding Network Drawing: Ueli Iff, Switzerlanmd Table 4: Reproduction between 1978 and (1) (3) (5) (4) (4) (4) (4) (7) (4) (4) (8) (10) (9) (8) (9) Number of egg laying pairs (Number of successfully reproducing pairs) nnn For breeding nnn Died as juvenile, immature or adult nnn Died as nestling nnn Released nnn Released and dead or lost n.n.n male.female.sex unknown

23 2005 Breeding Network * * Drawing: Ueli Iff, Switzerland * * * (11) (12) (7) (6) (6) (13) (17) 24 (11) 24 (11) 24 (11) 22 (11) 21 (10) 24 (13) Number of egg laying pairs (Number of successfully reproducing pairs) nnn stolen nnn * given to a commercial falconry station nnn given to a zoo outside the EEP

24 24 Breeding Network 2005 Table 5: Age distribution of Bearded Vultures within the breeding network as on 31 December nnn Studbooknumber males Age in years females

25 2005 Release 25 Report on Releases in 2005 by Hans Frey * In the year 2005, eight young Bearded Vultures were to be released, two at each of four release sites (Hohe Tauern, Haute Savoie, Mercantour and Martell). These were: BG 452 female born in the VBU-RFZ, Austria BG 455 female born in Liberec Zoo, Czech Republic BG 459 male born in Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Austria BG 460 female born in the VBU-RFZ, Austria BG 462 female born in the VBU-RFZ Austria BG 463 female born in the Breeding Centre Goldau, Switzerland BG 464 female born in La Garenne Zoo, Switzerland BG 465 female born in the VBU-RFZ, Austria In all, six females and one male. The studbooknumber, sex, name, ring and feather marks of the released birds are shown in FIGURE 1. Figure 1: Markings BG 452, female, Monaco ring:right talon: green; left talon: blue wing left: 3-4 tail left: 1-2 BG 455, female, Monte Carlo ring:right talon: green; left talon: black wing left: 11-12; BG 459, male, Swaro ring:right talon: green; left talon: copper wing right: 3-5; BG 460, female, Sallanches ring:right talon: green; left talon: red wing left: 4-6 tail right: 1-2 * Department of Pathobiology, Institute of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, A-1210 Wien, Austria.

26 26 Release 2005 BG 462, female, Escalero ring:right talon: green; left talon: violet wing right: 4-5 wing left: 2-3 tail left: 2-3 BG 465, female, Doraja ring:right talon: green; left talon: silver recaptured on 23rd of December 2005 wing right: 2-3, 10-11, BG 463, female, Folio ring:right talon: green; left talon: gold wing right: 5-6 wing left: 3-4; tail right: 3-4 BG 464, female, Natura ring:right talon: green; left talon: green wing right: wing left: 5-6 tail left: 3-4 Bearded Vultures released in the period 1986 to 2005 Rauris, Mallnitz, Gschlöß, Gastein & Kals Between 1986 and 2005, 41 Bearded Vultures were released in the NATIONAL PARK HOHE TAUERN: 16 males, 25 females. They are the offspring of 17 different breeding pairs. One female was shot (Nina, BG , in France, at the age of seven years in 1993), one female died in an avalanche (Jackpot, BG , in Austria, being one year old in 1995), three females and two males had to be recaptured (Winnie, BG , in Austria, being one year old in 1986, Keno, BG in 1999, some days after her first flight at the release site, Doraja, BG in December 2005, more than six months after release, Hubsi, BG , at the release site in 1990 and Toto, BG in December 2004, more than six months after release). Five birds are missing (Heinz, BG , since 1987, Ulli, BG , since 1992, Bernhard, BG , since 1992, Winfried, BG , since 1993 and Paradatsch, BG , since 1997). One female, Doraja, BG was recaught in December because of lead poisoning. Haute-Savoie 39 Bearded Vultures have been released since 1987: 16 males, 20 females and three birds of unknown sex. They derive from 19 different breeding pairs. Six males and three females died (Robespierre, BG in its first year of life through collision with a power line in 1989, BG and BG , Europa Life, because of illness at the nest site in 1991 and in 2001 respectively, Republic 7, BG killed at the nest site by a fox in 1994, Danton, BG , in its seventh year of life as a result of colliding with a power line in 1996 in France, the female Mélusine, BG , in its third year, killed by an avalanche in 1989 in Switzerland and the female Republic 5, BG shot in 1997 in Wallis, Switzerland). Another adult bird was found dead in Sex determination based on feathers of the dead bird proved that it is Republic, BG The ring with the studbooknumber was missing, leaving only the second ring. The latter indicated only the release site of Haute-Savoie and the year of release (1991), so the examination of the feathers revealed the identity of the Bearded Vulture. An additional male, Saturnin, BG is missing

27 2005 Release 27 as from Recently, some evidence has come to light indicating that this bird was already shot not far from its release site in the summer of Averell, BG was found dead in the Lechtal (Austria) in The reason of death still is not documented (see AR 2002, p ). Marie Antoinette (BG ), released in 1989 and one of the partners of the trio of Val d Isere, had to recaptured on the 19th of May The bird was rather weak and one wing injured - it will never be re-released anymore. After some weeks of husbandry in a rehabilitation centre in Haute Savoie, BG 115 was transferred to the Breeding Centre Haute Savoie end of August The first vulture born in the wild and named Phénix Alp Action (BGW01) fledged successfully in Haute Savoie in 1997 followed by the second one, named Dominique (BGW03) in Also in 1999 the pair Assignat (BG 111) x Balthazar (BG 099) bred successfully, producing BGW05 (Rhonealp) and in 2000 BGW06 (Reposoir). In 2001, this pair ceased brooding, in 2002 one young hatched (BGW15, Clarins) but died falling from the rock with parts of the eyrie with an age of 2.5 months. Two additionally young fledged in Termignon (BGW14, Arpont) and Val d Isere (BGW16, Free Ride) in In 2003, the French pairs were not so successful, only one young fledged (BGW18, Cross-Border) in Val d Isere on 28th of July. The old breeding pair of Bargy again had a young, but this one died before fledging (BGW19). In 2004, again two offspring fledged, BGW21, Pelvio in Termignon and BGW25, Morsulaz deriving from the Bargy pair. In 2005, the French Bearded Vultures were rather productive: a total of four young fledged. BGW26, Nuage, in Val d Isere, BGW27, NotreAmi, in Termignon, BGW31, Peisyllon, in Peisey-Nancroix and BGW32, Bargy, at Bargy. Engadin/Nationalpark Stelvio Between 1991 and 2005, 30 Bearded Vultures were released in the Swiss National Park and Stelvio Nationalpark: 14 males and 16 females. They are the offspring of 19 different pairs. One male (Felix, BG ) was shot at the age of one year on the border between Austria and Italy in Another, Roseg, BG disappeared short time after fledging. A young bird (Stelvio, BGW02) was born in the wild not far from the release site, near the Italian- Swiss border in In 2000, two pairs, one in Bormio, the second in Livigno (both territories near the Italian-Swiss border) successfuly reared BGW07 (Diana Stelvio) and BGW08 (Livigno) respectively. In 2001 again one young was born in Bormio, BGW09 (Stelvio 01), which successfully fledged, whereas the young of pair Livigno (BGW10) died on the 1st of June. In 2002, three young vultures were reared in the wild: BGW11, Moische-Livigno in Livigno, BGW12, Zebru in Val Zebru and BGW13, Beverin-Stelvio in Bormio. In 2003, two young were born: BGW17, Regina-Livigno, fledged on the 22nd of July in Dardaligno and BGW20, which died before flegding in Zebru. Again in 2004, three offspring became reared successfully: BGW22, Silva-Zebru in Zebru, BGW23, Tommy- Livigno in Livigno and BGW24, Gerry-Stelvio in Bormio. In 2005, these pairs again were successful: BGW28, Lucy, in Zebru, BGW29, Rudy, in Livigno and BGW30, Alby, in Bormio. Argentera/Mercantour Since 1993, 27 Bearded Vultures, being the offspring of ten breeding pairs, have been released: 15 (five males, nine females and one bird of unknown sex) in the Mercantour N.P. and 12 (seven males and five females) in Argentera Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime. They are the offspring of 13 different pairs. One female (Geo, BG ) had to be recaptured in 1995, one male, Mounier (BG ) was found dead, shot in 2000 and one female, Mercantour (BG ) is missing. TOTAL Within the framework of the Bearded Vulture Project a total of 137 young Bearded Vultures have been released into the Alps since 1986: 58 males, 75 females and 4 birds of unknown sex. They are the offspring of 35 different pairs. Five young Bearded Vultures had to be returned into the breeding network (Winnie, BG , Hubsi, BG , Geo, BG , Keno, BG , Toto, BG ) and one adult (Marie Antoinette, BG ). One had to be recaptured but can be re-released with high pro-

28 28 Release 2005 bability: Doraja, BG Thirteen, possibly 15, died (Mélusine, BG , Nina, BG , Danton, BG , Robespierre, BG , Averell, BG , Republic, BG , BG , Republic 5, BG , Felix, BG , Jackpot, BG , Republic 7, BG , Saturnin, BG {?}, Mounier, BG ), EuropaLife, BG , Roseg, BG {?}), while six are missing (Heinz, BG , Ulli, BG , Paradatsch, BG , Bernhard, BG , Winfried, BG , Mercantour, BG ). At present at least 90 Bearded Vultures are living in the wild. Site RAURIS 1986 BG Hans m Wassenaar BG Fritz f Alpenzoo Innsbruck BG Ellen f Alpenzoo Innsbruck BG / Winnie f recaptured Grünau 1987 BG Heinz m lost Wassenaar BG Nina f shot La Garenne Zoo 1988 BG Alexa f Alpenzoo Innsbruck BG Ulli m lost VBU-RFZ BG / Paradatsch f lost Grünau 1989 BG / Karl f VBU-RFZ BG Joey m VBU-RFZ BG Colleen f Alpenzoo Innsbruck BG / Baselisk f VBU-RFZ 1990 BG / Hubertus m recaptured VBU-RFZ BG Lotte f VBU-RFZ 1991 BG / Nicola f VBU-RFZ BG / Diana f VBU-RFZ 1992 BG / Bernhard m lost VBU-RFZ BG Fulvio m Berlin Friedrichsfelde 1993 BG Helmut m VBU-RFZ BG / Winfried m lost VBU-RFZ 1994 BG Hans Rupert f VBU-RFZ BG Jackpot f dead La Garenne Zoo 1995 no release took place 1996 BG Andreas Hofer f Alpenzoo Innsbruck BG Marga f Berlin Friedrichsfelde 1997 no release took place 1998 BG Daniel m Alpenzoo Innsbruck BG Jackpot 3 m VBU-RFZ 1999 BG Zonta f Alpenzoo Innsbruck BG / Keno f recaptured Wuppertal Zoo TOTAL

29 2005 Release 29 Site MALLNITZ 2000 BG / Bingo f VBU-RFZ BG / Georg m La Garenne 2003 BG / Joker f Centro de Cria Guadalentin BG / Kasati m Hannover Zoo TOTAL Site GSCHLÖß 2001 BG / El Dorado f VBU-RFZ BG / Christa f VBU-RFZ TOTAL Site GASTEIN 2002 BG Franz m Prague BG / Ambo f VBU-RFZ TOTAL Site KALS 2004 BG / Toto m recaptured Hannover Zoo BG / Hubertus 2 m Breeding Centre Goldau TOTAL Site GROßGLOCKNER 2004 BG / Escalero f VBU-RFZ BG / Doraja f recaptured VBU-RFZ TOTAL TOTAL Site HAUTE-SAVOIE 1987 BG Mélusine f dead Wassenaar BG Saturnin m lost (dead?) Alpenzoo Innsbruck BG Marie Paradis f Alpenzoo Innsbruck 1988 BG Balthazar m Wassenaar BG Melchior m Alpenzoo Innsbruck 1989 BG Assignat f La Garenne Zoo BG Danton m dead Wassenaar BG Robespierre m dead VBU-RFZ BG Marie-Antoinette f recaptured Alpenzoo Innsbruck BG / Charlotte f Wildpark Grünau 1990 BG / Yvan f VBU-RFZ BG / Robin f VBU-RFZ

30 30 Release 2005 Site HAUTE-SAVOIE 1991 BG / Averell m dead VBU-RFZ BG / Republic f dead Dortmund Zoo BG / m dead Breeding Centre Haute-Savoie 1992 BG / Republic 2? Breeding Centre Haute-Savoie BG / Republic 3 m VBU-RFZ 1993 BG / Republic 4 f Breeding Centre Haute-Savoie BG Republic 5 f shot VBU-RFZ 1994 BG / Republic 6 f VBU-RFZ BG / Republic 7 m dead VBU-RFZ 1995 no release took place 1996 BG / Republic 8 f Breeding Centre Haute-Savoie BG Republic 9? Berlin Friedrichsfelde 1997 no release took place 1998 BG / Republic 11 f Breeding Centre Haute-Savoie BG Crystal f Alpenzoo Innsbruck 1999 BG / Republic 13 m Breeding Centre Haute-Savoie BG /151 Doran m Dortmund Zoo 2000 BG Pablo m Prague Zoo BG / Montblanc m Hannover Zoo 2001 BG / EuropaLife m dead Hannover Zoo BG / Natura Mate f Wuppertal Zoo 2002 BG / Life m VBU-RFZ BG /274 Aravis m Liberec Zoo 2003 BG / Sadri f VBU-RFZ BG / Transalpaete f VBU-RFZ 2004 BG / Gilbert f VBU-RFZ BG Bella Cha f Prague Zoo 2005 BG / Swaro m Schönbrunn Zoo BG / Sallanches f VBU-RFZ TOTAL Site ENGADIN 1991 BG Settschient m VBU-RFZ BG / Moische f VBU-RFZ BG Margunet m Berlin Friedrichsfelde 1992 BG / Jo f VBU-RFZ BG / Ivraina f VBU-RFZ 1993 BG / Cic m Dortmund Zoo BG / Felix m shot VBU-RFZ 1994 BG / Pisoc m Dortmund Zoo BG / Valimosch m Tel Aviv Zoo 1995 no release took place 1996 BG /003 Berna m VBU-RFZ BG Mauritio m Dresden Zoo

31 2005 Release 31 Site ENGADIN 1997 BG / Tell m VBU-RFZ BG / Sina f VBU-RFZ 1998 BG / Gildo f La Garenne Zoo BG / Diana-Valais m Hannover Zoo 1999 BG / Veronika f La Garenne Zoo BG / Sempach f Wuppertal Zoo 2000 BG / Christelle f Breeding Centre Goldau BG Louis m Alpenzoo Innsbruck 2001 BG / Roseg m lost (dead?) La Garenne Zoo BG / Felice f VBU-RFZ 2002 no release took place 2003 BG / Thuri Breeding Centre Goldau 2004 no release took place 2005 BG / Folio f Breeding Centre Goldau BG / Natura f La Garenne Zoo TOTAL Site MARTELL 2000 BG Interreg m Prague Zoo BG / Rätia f VBU-RFZ 2001 no release took place 2002 BG / Stift f VBU-RFZ BG / Martell f Breeding Centre Goldau 2003 no release took place 2004 BG / Culan m La Garenne Zoo BG / Ortler f Centro de Cria Guadalentin 2005 no release took place TOTAL Site MERCANTOUR 1993 BG / Argentera f VBU-RFZ BG Mounier m dead Dresden Zoo BG Florent m (?) * Dresden Zoo 1994 no release took place 1995 BG / Geo f recaptured Breeding Centre Haute-Savoie BG / Firmin m Dortmund Zoo 1996 no release took place 1997 BG / Pelat m Nuremberg Zoo BG Gelas f Berlin Friedrichsfelde 1998 no release took place 1999 BG / Roubion m Breeding Centre Haute-Savoie BG / Péone f Breeding Centre Haute-Savoie 2000 no release took place

32 32 Release 2005 Site MERCANTOUR 2001 BG / Larche m VBU-RFZ BG / Roure f VBU-RFZ 2002 no release took place 2003 BG /274 Guillaumes f Liberec Zoo BG /274 Jausiers f Liberec Zoo 2004 no release took place 2005 BG / Monaco f VBU-RFZ BG /274 Monte Carlo f Liberec Zoo TOTAL Site ARGENTERA 1994 BG / Mercantour f lost VBU-RFZ BG Topolino m Dresden Zoo 1995 no release took place 1996 BG / Entrague m VBU-RFZ BG Valdieri f Dresden Zoo 1997 no release took place 1998 BG Aisone m Berlin Friedrichsfelde BG Vernante m Berlin Friedrichsfelde 1999 no release took place 2000 BG / Sereno m Breeding Centre Haute-Savoie BG / Ciabri f VBU-RFZ 2001 no release took place 2002 BG / Alpidoc f VBU-RFZ BG / Paolo Peila m VBU-RFZ 2003 no release took place 2004 BG / Blangiar m VBU-RFZ BG / Palanfré f VBU-RFZ 2005 no release took place TOTAL Escalero, BG 462 Photos: G. Gressmann, Austria m (?) */f (?) * = sex assumed according only to the body size.

33 2005 Release 33 Age distribution of released Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) as on 31 December 2005 year male age female No of released birds * * * * * * * Total undetermined 62 (4) 79 (4) 137 dead 8 5 recaptured 2 4 maturity nnn lost nnn sex not determined nnn breeding pairs nnn dead nnn* recaptured

34 34 Release 2005 Report on the release in the Hohe Tauern Nationalpark, Rauris 2005 by Michael Knollseisen* In the course of the LIFE program "THE BEARDED VULTURE IN THE ALPS also this year two young vultures (BG 465 and BG 462) were released in the Hohe Tauern National Park. Due to several breeding attempts close to the 2002 release site in the valley of Gastein it was necessary to start the preparing in 2004 in order to find a new site. The quality of a release area is characterized by suitable habitat and by good observation possibilities. We choose a limestone rock massive in the upper SEIDLWINKLTAL (community of Rauris) at an elevation of metres. The release cave is visible directly from the Fuscherlacke on the Großglockner High Alpine Road. This High Alpine Road is connecting since 70 years the states of Salzburg and Carinthia and gives to one million of visitors per year spectacular views at the glaciers of the Hohe Tauern National Park. The day of the release as the most important day in the Bearded Vulture year hundreds of people accompanied the young vultures Doraja (BG 465) and Escalero (BG 462) on their way to freedom. Both birds were born and raised in the Vienna Breeding Unit-Richard Faust Zentrum. The state of Salzburg was represented by the member of government DORAJA EBERLE, being herself gossip of one of the birds. The AUSTRIAN LOTTERIES, gossip of Escalero, were represented by the Austrian project partner WWF. In collaboration with the project partner EGS Austria and the Veterinary University of Vienna, the National Park administration established an information and observation site on the High Alpine Road open to public all day from June to September. The continuous monitoring of the young birds showed again to be of main importance to secure the survival of the released Bearded Vultures. During the summer thousands of National Park visitors informed themselves on the evolution and ESCALERO BG 462, female, born on 27th of February 2005 born at VBU-RFZ (BG x BG ) feather marks: right wing 4 to 5 left wing 2 to 3 left tail 2 to 3 rings: right green, left violet DORAJA BG 465, female, born on 4th of March 2005 born at VBU-RFZ (BG 199 x BG ) feather marks: right wing 2 to 3; 10 to 11; 20 to 21 rings: right green, left silver recaptured on 23rd of December 2005 EGS Österreich, Untertauern 3, A-9844 Heiligenblut, Austria.

35 2005 Release 35 the first fligths of Doraja and Escalero. The monitoring team could use during the whole season the High Alpine Research Station near the release site administrated by the Museum of Natural History in Salzburg. As in the last years the food for the birds was provided by the local sheep farming company TAUERNLAMM. Until the first flights food was provided in the release cave, afterwards it was distributed at increasing larger distance to force the birds to search intensively to find it. Feeding was stopped in September after the birds reached independence. Despite very bad weather conditions (snowstorms with temperatures below zero at least once a month) the released birds developed without any problems. The attacks of the old female Bearded Vulture living lonely in the central area of the National Park were quite heavier than in the last year, but they did not force the young birds to leave the site before reaching independence. The attacks against BG 465 stopped the day, the young bird started to follow the adult to beg for food. Altogether 11 attacks against Escalero and 15 against Doraja were reported. Usually there was only one attack per day, the young birds never hesitated to fly or feed again immediately after the attack. The distance of metres from the thousands of tourist cars along the High Alpine Road showed to be enough to avoid contacts between vultures and people. The two small cable cars in the area used for provisioning farm houses were precociously seen and avoided by the birds. Escalero finally left the release site the 10th of August; thanks to our good monitoring network we got lots of observations especially from the South-west of the park (Eastern Tyrol). Doraja left the Großglockner High Alpine Road on the 7th of September. She went north, passing the whole autumn in the Limestone Mountains at the border to Berchtesgaden/Germany. In October she was seen once again at the release site. Shortly after the first heavy snowfalls at the end of November, Doraja was observed twice in the vicinity of the town of Berchtesgaden, sitting once on the roof of a church. Despite intensive monitoring no further observation were made in the area. Finally, on the 23rd of December, the bird was found wet and undernourished near Hallein (Salzburg) and brought to the ZOO OF SALZBURG, HELLBRUNN. A blood sample taken after the transfer to the VBU-RFZ revealed heavy lead poisoning. BG 465 should be released again as soon as possible in the National Park. Report on the release at the Haute Savoie site in 2005 by Marie Zimmermann *, Patrick Gardet * & Jérôme Déthes * Bearded Vultures were released on 25th of May 2005 at the Doran release site, with around 200 witnesses. The site has been in use since 1999, since a pair settled at the Bargy site. The two birds have been named Swaro and Sallanches, taken from the name of our technical partner, Swarovski, and the commune in which the release site is located, which is also a programme sponsor. Swaro (BG 459) is a male the only male among the 8 birds released in 2005 and hatched on 17th February at Schönbrunn Zoo in Austria. Sallanches (BG 460) is a female and hatched on 20th February at the Vienna Breeding Unit - Richard Faust Centre, Austria. On the release date, the birds were 98 and 95 days old respectively. The young birds were monitored in accordance with the standard reintroduction programme procedures. Swaro left the release site on foot twice: at 105 and 109 days. He was recaptured and returned to the cave to keep him safe from predators. After spending 21 days in the cave, he made his maiden flight on 15th of June in the afternoon, aged 118 days. He made 2 flights in the course of the day and came back to rest in the cave, where he spent the night. One important factor worthy of mention is that Swaro tried to break bones 27 times during the monitoring period unsuccessfully in that he did not shatter any bones. Sightings of Bearded Vultures breaking bones are rare. This behaviour indicates that Swaro was adapting well to the wild. On the morning of 17t of June, aged 117 days, Sallanches made her first flight after 23 days in the cave. She made a second flight with Swaro on the same day. The quality of the overnight perches * ASTERS, 278 avenue de Saint-Martin, Sallanches, FRANCE or

36 36 Release 2005 used by Sallanches confirms that she was doing well in the wild. She usually found perches which allowed her to spend the night out of reach of land predators. After the maiden flights, various feeding sites were set up, but Swaro soon found an ibex carcass. At the end of the season, both birds fed from a sheep carcass. The monitoring team reported 83 Bearded Vulture sightings over the summer. Some birds were identified, such as Assignat (BG 111), the female of the breeding pair at Bargy; Georg (BG 355), who was released in 2000 in Austria; the young bird hatched at Bargy in 2004 (BGW 25, Morsulaz) and Ortler (BG 439), who was released in 2004 in Switzerland and is fitted with an Argos transmitter. Satellite tracking confirmed that Ortler had visited the site. Two birds one adult and one subadult have established themselves in the sector. They were sighted throughout the summer and a new nest site was found on 23 June at Tours d'areu, in the valley in which the release site is located. This couple has already interacted with the two young fledglings and we have classified each type of contact in order to assess the nature of the contact, based on the method used by MATHIEU GENG (APEGE) in 1998 in Bargy range. CONTACT TYPE: - Type 1 and 2: eye contact, encounters of any length. - Type 3: attempted physical contact, with or without aggressive cries. - Type 4: single or multiple physical contacts which do not endanger the fledglings. - Type 5: single or multiple physical contacts which endanger the health or life of the young birds. When the young birds were still in the cave but had not yet made their maiden flight, contact with the local pair was limited to contact types 1 and 2. The adult birds did not see the static birds as a threat to their territory and probably fear of the monitoring team, 700m from the cave, stopped them landing. The type of contact changed once the young birds start to fly, becoming physical and aggressive (type 3 plus). The adult birds became ever more aggressive towards the young birds and the monitoring team saw the pair pecking Sallanches, seizing her in flight and continuing to hold her on the ground on 18 July type 5 behaviour. The adult pair were defending its territory. Usually, the result of defensive territorial activities is that the intruder flees. Because the two young fledglings stayed at the site, the attacks were intensified because they appeared unsuccessful. Nearly 85% of contact was harmless or could help the young birds adapt to the wild (types 1, 2 and 3). Type 4 and 5 contacts can be harmful and cause problems for the released birds, or cause them to endanger themselves. The monitoring finished in July. Swaro was seen for the last time on 8th of September in the Fiz mountains, and Sallanches was sighted on 28th of September in the Bargy range. In total, 39 young birds have been released in Haute Savoie between 1987 and the present day at the Bargy and Doran sites. 20 were females, 17 male, and 2 unknown. It is hard to draw conclusions, because we are not certain what has happened to the 39 Bearded Vultures released into the wild. For the period , which excludes inconsistencies, 30 birds were released in Haute Savoie, and we know that: - ten birds died: three as a result of collisions (Danton, BG 113 and Republic, BG 144 were already adults) in the Vanoise and one in the Bauges (one-year old Robespierre, BG 114); three of natural causes (Republic 7, BG 219, Europalife, BG 377 and BG 147, all aged one); one was shot (Republic 5, BG 182, subadult); and three died of unknown causes (Mélusine, BG 093 immature aged 3, Saturnin, BG 094, Averell, BG 140). Of the ten, three died in the cave. - three birds are now breeding: Assignat (BG 111) and Balthazar (BG 099) are the Bargy pair (Haute Savoie), and Republic 3 (BG 166) is the Val d'isère male. - three birds have territories, with two in the Haut Giffre area in Haute Savoie (Republic 11, BG 288 and Haute Savoie Mont Blanc, BG 361) and the third just over the border (Republic 13, BG 335).

37 2005 Release 37 - we do not know what has happened to 13 birds. They may be dead, or may be part of a pair where one bird has not been identified. - one of the birds, Marie Antoinette, BG 115, the breeding female in Val d'isère, is currently at the Haute Savoie breeding centre after fracturing her wing (probably in a collision) and cannot be released. SWARO BG 459, male, born on 17th of February 2005 born at Schönbrunn Zoo (BG 201 x BG ) feather marks: right wing 3 to 5; 14 to 17 rings: right green, left copper SALLANCHES BG 460, female, born on 20th of February 2005 born at VBU-RFZ (BG x BG ) feather marks: left wing 4 to 6 right tail 1 to 2 rings: right green, left red BG 460, Sallanches Photo: MARIE ZIMMERMAN, France

38 38 Release 2005 Release in Swiss Nationalpark Engadine in 2005 Daniel Hegglin, Christian Buchli, Therese Hotz und Kathi Märki In 2005, the two Bearded Vultures Folio (BG 463) and Natura (BG 464) were released at the release site in the Swiss National Park in Switzerland (see map below). Both females were born on 27th of February 2005, Folio in the breeding station of the Landscape and Animal Park Goldau ( and Natura in the Zoo de La Garenne ( The release took place at the 11th of June. As both birds were equipped with a satellite tag the public interest was even greater than in the previous years. Both birds showed normal behaviour and normal development. May the frequent aggressive interactions between the two birds was the reason that Natura already fledged at the age of 110 days (17th of June). Folio, who was the dominant bird, fledged the 29th of June at the age of 122 days. At least three different adult and two subadult Bearded Vultures visited regularly the release site in the Val Stabelchod during summer 2006 (see FIGURE 1). We observed some aggressive interactions between the juveniles and an adult individual. But the attacks of the adult bird were not intense and did not significantly affect the activity of the young Bearded Vultures. The individual identification of the other Bearded Vultures that visited the Val Stabelchod was not possible. Nevertheless, the microsatellite analyses of collected feather samples revealed, that one of the Bearded Vultures was a descendent of the pair in Livigno (Barbara Hefti-Gautschi 2006). After dispersing from the release site in the end of August, Folio and Natura have been regularly observed in the Engadina and the Western Part of Tyrol. More information on Natura and Folio is available on HEFTI-GAUTSCHI, B. (2006): Individual identification of free-living bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) based on feather and egg skin samples. Report , ecogenics GmbH, Zurich Switzerland. FOLIO BG 463, female, born on 27th of February 2005 born at Breeding Centre Goldau (BG x BG ) feather marks: right wing 5 to 6 left wing 3 to 4; 13 to 15 right tail 3 to 4 rings: right green, left gold NATURA BG 464, female, born on 27th of February 2005 born at La Garenne Zoo (BG 034 x BG ) feather marks: left wing 5 to 6 right wing 13 to 15 left tail 3 to 4 rings: right green, left green * Stiftung Pro Bartgeier, 7530 Zernez & SWILD urban ecology & wildlife research, Wuhrstr. 12, CH-8003 Zürich, Switzerland,

39 2005 Release 39 FIGURE 1. Five different Bearded Vultures that visited the Val Stabelchod during the release period A) unidentified adult Bearded Vulture B) unidentified adult Bearded Vulture (frequently seen together with A) C) unidentified, subadult Bearded Vulture (3-4 years) D) Bearded Vultures B and C grooming each other E) unidentified subadult Bearded Vulture (1 year, wild born) F) unidentified adult Bearded Vulture. Release in the Mercantour site in 2005 The release took place on 13th of May MONACO BG 452, female, born on 30th of January 2005 born at VBU-RFZ (BG 009 x BG ) feather marks: left wing 3 to 4 left tail 1 to 2 rings: right green, left blue MONTE CARLO BG 455, female, born on 6th of February 2005 born at Liberec Zoo (BG x BG 274) feather marks: left wing 11 to 12; 20 to 22 rings: right green, left black

40 40 Release 2005 Name, number, sex, place of release, wing marks and ring colours between Name Number Wing left Wing right Tail left Tail right Leg left Leg right Hans BG silver red Fritz BG black red Ellen BG red red Winnie BG Heinz BG green - Melusine BG Saturnin BG green - Marie Paradis BG green - Nina BG Balthazar BG silver Alexa BG silver Melchior BG silver Ulli BG silver Paradatsch BG silver Karl BG gold - Joey BG gold - Assignat BG gold - Colleen BG gold - Danton BG Robespierre BG Marie-Antoinette BG gold - Charlotte BG gold - Baselisk BG gold - Hubertus BG Lotte BG black Yvan BG black Robin BG black Nicola BG blue - Diana BG blue - Averell BG blue - Settschient BG blue - Republic BG Moische BG blue - xxx BG Margunet BG blue - Republic 2 BG violett Republic 3 BG violett Bernhard BG violett Fulvio BG violett Jo BG violett Ivraina BG violett Republic 4 BG pink - Republic 5 BG Helmut BG pink - CIC BG pink -

41 2005 Release 41 Place of release Rauris, A Rauris, A Rauris, A Rauris, A Rauris, A Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Rauris, A Haute-Savoie, F Rauris, A Haute-Savoie, F Rauris, A Rauris, A Rauris, A Rauris, A Haute-Savoie, F Rauris, A Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Rauris, A Rauris, A Rauris, A Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Rauris, A Rauris, A Haute-Savoie, A Engadine, CH Haute-Savoie, F Engadine, CH Haute-Savoie, F Engadine, CH Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Rauris, A Rauris, A Engadine, A Engadine, A Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Rauris, A Engadine, CH Sex Remarks Date of birth Date of release Date of death m - 14 feb may 86 - f - 17 feb may 86 - f - 23 feb may 86 - f recaptured 03 apr jul 86 - m - 10 feb may 87 - f dead 14 feb may jul 89 m - 19 feb may 87 - f - 24 feb may 87 - f dead 04 feb may aug 93 m - 17 feb may 88 - f - 18 feb may 88 - m - 23 feb may 88 - m - 23 feb may 88 - f - 03 apr jun 88 - m? - 12 feb may 89 - m - 12 feb may 89 - f - 01 apr jul 89 - f - 19 feb may 89 - m dead 21 feb jun apr 96 m dead 22 feb jun nov 89 f - 27 feb jun 89 - f - 25 mar jul 89 - f - 30 mar jun 89 - m recaptured 03 feb may 90 - f - 20 feb may 90 - f - 15 mar jun 90 - f - 23 mar jun 90 - f - 05 feb may 91 - f - 12 feb may 91 - m - 23 feb jun 91 - m - 28 feb jun 91 -? dead 05 mar jun jul 97 f - 13 mar jun 91 -? dead 18 mar jun jun 91 m - 28 feb jun 91 -? - 13 feb may 92 - m - 21 feb may 92 - m - 29 feb may 92 - m - 22 feb may 92 - f - 09 mar jun 92 - f - 09 mar jun 92 - f - 06 feb may 93 - f dead 14 feb may nov 97 m - 20 feb may 93 - m - 02 mar jun 93 -

42 42 Release 2005 Name Number Wing left Wing right Tail left Tail right Leg left Leg right Winfried BG pink - Felix BG Argentera BG pink - Mounier BG Florent BG pink - Hans Rupert BG light violet red Pisoc BG gold red Mercantour BG blue red Jackpot 1 BG Topolino BG black red Republic 6 BG brown red Republic 7 BG Valimosch BG green red Geo BG Firmin BG black silver Republic 8 BG copper green Republic 9 BG red green Andreas Hofer BG violett green Marga BG grey green Berna BG gold green Mauritio BG black green Entraque BG blue green Valdieri BG black green Pelat BG blue dark-copper Gelas BG black dark-copper Tell BG green dark-copper Sina BG gold dark-copper Phénix BGW Republic 11 BG copper silver Crystal BG red silver Daniel BG violet silver Jackpot 3 BG silver silver Gildo BG gold silver Diana Valais BG green silver Aisone BG blue silver Vernante BG black silver Stelvio BGW Dominique BGW Roubion BG blue gold Péone BG black gold Zonta BG violet gold Veronika BG green gold Sempach BG gold gold Keno BG Republic 13 BG copper gold

43 2005 Release 43 Place of release Rauris, A Engadine, CH Mercantour, F Mercantour, F Mercantour, F Rauris, A Engadine, CH Argentera, I Rauris, A Argentera, I Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Engadine, CH Mercantour, F Mercantour, F Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Rauris, A Rauris, A Engadine, CH Engadine, CH Argentera, I Argentera, I Mercantour, F Mercantour, F Engadine, CH Engadine, CH Le Reposoir, F Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Rauris, A Rauris,A Engadin, CH Engadin, CH Argentera, I Argentera, I Bormio, I Le Reposoir, F Mercantour, F Mercantour, F Rauris, A Engadin, CH Engadin, CH Rauris, A Haute-Savoie, F Sex Remarks Date of birth Date of release Date of death m - 07 mar may 93 - m dead 09 mar jun mar 94 f - 21 mar jun 93 - f dead 22 mar jun mar 00 m - 28 mar jun 93 - f - 18 feb may 94 - m - 03 mar jun 94 - f - 11 mar jun 94 - f dead 15 feb may may 95 m - 14 mar jun 94 - f - 20 mar jun 94 - m dead 28 mar jun jul 94 m - 27 feb jun 94 - f recaptured 16 feb jun 95 - m - 01 mar jun 95 - f - 04 feb may 96 -? - 24 feb may 96 - m - 26 feb may 96 - f - 29 feb may 96 - m - 04 mar jun 96 -? - 08 mar jun 96 - m - 17 mar jun 96 - f - 20 mar jun 96 - m - 12 feb may 97 - f - 04 mar may 97 - m - 18 mar jun 97 - f - 24 mar jun 97 - m wild 12 apr aug 97 * - f - 28 feb may 98 - f - 24 feb may 98 - m - 02 mar jun 98 - m - 23 feb jun 98 - f - 13 mar jun 98 - m - 13 mar jun 98 - m - 18 mar jun 98 - m - 26 mar jun 98 -? wild 08 apr jul 98 * -? wild 19 apr aug 98 * - m - 05 feb may 99 - f - 11 feb may 99 - f - 19 feb may 99 - f - 22 feb jun 99 - f - 27 feb jun 99 - f recaptured 07 mar may 99 - m - 19 mar jun 99 - * the date of release for the wild born birds means the date of fledging

44 44 Release 2005 Name Number Wing left Wing right Tail left Tail right Leg left Leg right Doran BG red gold Rhonealp BGW Sereno BG blue blue Ciabri BG black blue Bingo BG violet blue Interreg BG pink blue Georg BG silver blue Rätia BG blue Pablo BG copper blue Montblanc BG red blue Christelle BG gold blue Louis BG green blue Reposoir BGW Diana Stelvio BGW Livigno BGW Larche BG blue pink Roure BG black pink El Dorado BG violet pink Christa BG silver pink Roseg BG gold pink Felice BG green pink EuropaLife BG copper pink Natura mate BG red pink Stelvio 01 BGW Alpidoc BG blue black Franz BG violet black Paolo Peila BG black black Ambo BG silver black Stift Martell Life Aravis Moische- Livigno Zebru BG 393 BG 395 BG 402 BG 405 BGW 11 BGW 12 BGW 13 Beverin- Stelvio Arpont Free-Ride BGW 14 BGW 16 Guillaumes BG 411 Jausiers BG 413 Sadri BG 415 Transalpaete BG 418 Joker BG gold black green black copper black red black gold violet - 2-3; green violet copper violet red violet 4-5; violet violet

45 2005 Release 45 Place of release Haute-Savoie, F Le Reposoir, F Argentera, I Argentera, I Mallnitz, A Martell, I Mallnitz, A Martell, I Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Engadine, CH Engadine, CH Le Reposoir, F Bormio, I Bormio, I Mercantour, F Mercantour, F Gschlöß, A Gschlöß, A Engadine, CH Engadine, CH Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Bormio, I Argentera, I Gastein, A Argentera, A Gastein, A Martell, I Martell, I Haute-Savoie, F Haute-Savoie, F Livigno, I Zebru, I Bormio, I Sex Remarks Date of birth Date of release Date of death m - 02 apr jun 99 -? wild 16 apr aug 99 * - m - 03 feb may 00 - f - 07 feb may 00 - f - 13 feb may 00 - m - 28 feb jun 00 - m - 18 feb may 00 - f - 03 mar jun 00 - m - 04 mar jun 00 - m - 12 mar jun 00 - f - 23 mar jul 00 - m - 12 mar jul 00 -? wild 01 apr jul 00 * -? wild 16 mar jul 00 * -? wild 30 mar jul 00 * - m - 05 feb may 01 - f - 16 feb may 01 - f - 18 feb may 01 - f - 21 feb may 01 - m - 23 feb jun 01 - f - 02 mar jun 01 - m dead 10 mar jun 01 2nd jul 01? - 13 mar jun 01 -? wild 06 apr f - 17 Feb may 02 - m - 26 feb may 02 - m - 21 feb may 02 - f - 27 feb may 02 - f - 02 mar jun 02 - f - 08 mar jun 02 - m - 07 apr jul 02 - m - 16 apr jul 02 -? wild 24 mar jul 02 * -? wild mar jul 02 * -? wild mar jul 02 * - Termigno, F Val d Isere, F?? wild wild 01 apr mar 02?? - - Mercantour, F f - 17 feb may 03 - Mercantour, F f - 23 feb may 03 - Haute-Savoie, F f - 25 feb jun 03 - Haute-Savoie, F f - 04 mar jun 03 - Mallnitz, A f - 05 mar jun 03 - * the date of release for the wild born birds means the date of fledging

46 46 Release 2005 Name Number Wing left Wing right Tail left Tail right Leg left Leg right Kasati BG silver violet Thuri BG blue violet Regina- BGW Livigno Cross- Border BGW BGW BGW Blangiar BG blue red Palanfré BG ; black red Culan BG gold red Ortler BG ; green red Gilbert BG ;12-13; copper red Bella Cha BG red red Toto BG ; violet red Hubertus 2 BG silver red Pelvio BGW Silva-Zebru BGW Tommy - BGW Livigno Gerry - Stelvio BGW Morsulaz BGW Monaco BG blue green Monte Carlo BG ; black green Swaro BG ; copper green Sallanches BG red green Escalero BG violet green Doraja BG ; 10-11; silver green Folio BG , gold green Natura BG green green Nuage BGW NotreAmi BGW Lucy BGW Rudy BGW Alby BGW Peisyllon BGW Bargy BGW BGW

47 2005 Release 47 Place of release Sex Remarks Date of birth Date of release * Date of death Mallnitz, A m - 08 mar jun 03 - Engadine, CH f - 07 mar jun 03 - Dardaligno? wild 28 mar jul 03 - Val d Isere? wild 30 mar jul 03 - Bargy? wild 04 apr 03-24th apr 03 Zebru? wild 29 mar 03-28th apr 03 Argentera, I m - 11 feb may 04 - Argentera, I f - 17 feb may 04 - Martell, I m - 28 feb jun 04 - Martell, I f - 28 feb jun 04 - Doran, F f - 04 mar jun 04 - Doran, F f - 04 mar jun 04 - Kals, A m recaptured 30 mar jul 04 - Kals, A m - 04 apr jul 04 - Termignon? wild 02/03 mar jul 04 Zebru? wild 14/15 mar 04 05/06 jul 04 Livigno? wild 28 mar jul 04 - Bormio? wild 15/17 mar 04 10/12 jul 04 - Bargy? wild 05 apr jul 04 Mercantour, F f - 30 jan may 05 - Mercantour, F f - 06 feb may 05 - Doran, F m - 17 feb may 05 - Doran, F f - 20 feb may 05 - Rauris, A f - 27 feb jun 05 - Rauris, A f recaptured 04 mar jun 05 - Engadine, CH f - 27 feb jun 05 - Engadine, CH f - 27 feb jun 05 - Val d Isere? wild 28 feb jun 05 Termignon? wild 03 mar jun 05 Zebru? wild 17 mar jul 05 - Livigno? wild 19 mar jul 05 - Bormio? wild 21 mar jul 05 Peisey-Nancroix? wild 30 mar aug 05 - Bargy? wild 03 apr jul 05 - Kötschachtal? wild 20 mar mar 05 * the date of release for the wild born birds means the date of fledging

48 48 Release 2005 BG 413 BG 418 BG 422 BG 411 BG 415 BG 420 BG 435 BG 439 BG 424 BG 433 BG 438 BG 441 BG 446 BG 455 BG 440 BG 452 BG 460 BG 462 BG 464 BG 459 BG 463 View from below! Individual marks of Bearded Vultures

49 2005 Monitoring 49 Bearded Vulture Monitoring in Engadine, Switzerland in 2005 by David Jenny * Summary As in 2004, all three Bearded Vulture pairs of Nationalpark Stelvio reared one young each. A total of 14 young vultures fledged in the past years (PAIR LIVIGNO five, PAIR BORMIO six and PAIR ZEBRU three). In Val Sinestra, one adult bird seemed to be resident and another, immature one was present time and again. Up to now, it is difficult to describe these two birds as a pair, as hints to pair formation and territoriality are still missing. In Val Foraz (Swiss Nationalpark), one pair, established in the course of 2004, was present in the core area but could not be detected during autumn. One adult bird, maybe the older partner of the pair roosted in the neighbouring Val Nüglia on a regular basis. At the end of 2005, the younger partner re-appeared in Val S-charl, but reproduction can be excluded as this bird is much too young to be sexual mature. Hints for pair formation were found in Val Bever in the course of autumn: one adult bird roosted there regularly and sporadically spent time with a second bird. Methods A total of 229 observation hours were spent in 2005 and 133 observations were made. The hot spot in Engadine was situated in areas outside the well known territories (88 hrs.). In addition the occupied areas of Livigno (20 hrs.), Bormio (14 hrs.) and Zebru (17 hrs.) as well as Val Sinestra (44 hrs.) and Val Foraz (46 hrs.) were intensively surveyed. PAIR LIVIGNO was under control of employees of Corpo Forestale di Livigno and Bormio and by park wardens of Swiss Nationalpark from middle of February to beginning of April. The eyries of PAIR BORMIO and PAIR ZEBRU were selectively observed by employees of Corpo Forestale di Bormio. Observations, made by residents, were collected in the offices of the Nationalparkhaus and were used as basis for checks of possible new pairs. In addition these observations also gave a picture of the distribution and presence of single adult birds in particular during the winter months. These informations are added to the observations of the author, in these cases, the names of observers are given in parentheses. All photos were made by the author. Additional to the supervision of the employees of the Nationalpark, the author undertook checks of the occupied eyries in Livigno, Valle del Braulio and Valle dello Zebru. After the young birds have fledged, feathers were collected to be analysed by BARBARA GAUTSCHI. This report was written by order of Stiftung Pro Bartgeier. Results Winter 2005/2005 The winter of 2004/2005 had less snow than during the previous three years (monthly mean of 23.8cm vs cm from November to March). But it was extraordinarily cold. The average temperature from December to February was much lower than in the past three years (-10.1 C vs C). Nevertheless, the snow melted earlier because of the low amount of snow. At the end of March, the bottoms of the valleys were free of snow (airport Samedan, Swiss Meterological Centre). AREA ZERNEZ - OVA SPIN: Less observations of Bearded Vultures were made in 2005 than in No hints of pair formation could be detected. Game warden G. DENOTH observed Martell (BG 395, released 2002; right black, left green) in Valle dal Bareli fighting with an immature Golden Eagle. Close-by, four dead Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) were found. Furthermore, mostly immature birds were observed: * Suot Aquadotas, CH-7524 Zuoz, Schweiz,

50 50 Monitoring 2005 Photo: DAVID JENNY, Switzerland Louis (BG 364), soaring above the roost. The green ring can be recognized at the left leg. 21st of February: one immature bird at Bellavista. 27th of March: one adult, together with an immature Bearded Vulture flew from Strattamada (Susch) to Lavin. 30th of March: one immature bird flew above God d Ertas (park warden D. CLAVUOT, Zernez). In addition, one single bird was seen close to Il Fuorn. UPPER ENGADINE: In 2005, more Bearded Vultures were observed in Upper Engadine than in 2004, in particular in the middle area between Zernez and Samedan. The area La Punt - Val Chamuera seemed to be a new hot spot since autumn 2004 (see AR 2004). Nearly all observations which were made in this region concerned two individuals: Thuri (BG 424, female, released 2003) and Louis (BG 364, male, released 2000). Both birds were clearly identified by their marking patterns and by their rings. In the course of the winter months both Bearded Vultures were regularly and daily seen above La Punt and at Piz Mezzaun (e. g. on 1st of January by A. Á PORTA, 15th of January (CH. MEYER), 19th of January (A. Á PORTA), 29th January (P. SCHANIEL). Also in the region Bever - Samedan, one immature bird (with high probability Louis) was regularly seen (3rd of January by M. SUTER or 3rd of January by C. RÜEGG). W. BÜRKLI reported that one adult Bearded Vulture was seen nearly daily above Samedan between February and March. This bird obviously fed on meat, which was deposed as waste. The author observed this bird on 12th of April near Crasta Mors above Bever. Thanks to reports of R. FLÜCKI- GER and R. MORF, the author was able to observe Louis feeding on a large bone (red deer, Cervus elaphus) near Zuoz. LOUIS sat more than one hour at a larch in closest proximity of a strongly frequented cross-country ski run. The rings (right blue, left green) were well visible. As from middle of February (very cold!) to the end of March, Thuri and Louis regularly roosted in the south exposed rock Guardaval between La Punt and Madulain in 1900m sea level. The distance of these roosts to the main street covered only 300m. From 07:00 to 08:00 in the morning, the Bearded Vultures used to leave and returned to their two to three selected roosts between 16:00 and 17:00. The rocks around the roost were full of feces. The author observed the birds selecting roosts on the following evenings: 21st February; 4th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 14th, 26th and 29th of March. Both birds were observed several times in the nearby Zuoz up to S-chanf: on 3rd of March near the hotel Castell (A. BERNET); on 9th of March near Acla Laret. From April on, both male Bearded Vultures disappeared from the area, they were neither seen at the rock of ruin Guadaval nor in Val Chamuera (P. SCHANIEL). Further observations from singular birds were made in the upper part of Upper Engadine: on 12th of March, one adult bird near Pontresina, on 5th of April, one immature bird near Muottas Muragl and on 11th of April one Bearded Vulture chasing a snow grouse (Lagopus mutus) above Pontresina (all observations were made by game warden D. GODLI). One immature bird was seen near Furtschellas/Sils on 22nd of January and two immature birds were observed flying at Piz Lagrev, on 1st of April. On 6th of April, Ortler marked with a transmitter was seen in the area of Julierpass (D. HEG- GLIN).

51 2005 Monitoring 51 LOWER ENGADINE: Rather few observations were made outside the territories of PAIR SINESTRA and PAIR FORAZ. This may have been caused by diminished reporting activities, but also the author did not watch as many birds as in previous years. 30th of January: one immature bird in Val Tasna and one immature bird above Sent (M. MÜLLER). 24th of February: one Bearded Vulture above Sent (R. BARTEL). 17th of March: one adult Bearded Vulture in the behind part of Val Tuoi (W. WILLI; Zuoz). PAIR LIVIGNO PAIR LIVIGNO, successfully reproduced for the 5th year in eyrie Dardaligno. As in the previous years, an observation hut was established close to the gravel mine below Dardaligno. The observation period covered beginning of February until beginning of April. Employees of Corpo Forestale di Livigno and of Swiss Nationalpark were in charge of the monitoring. On 29th of January, the author found that the traditional nest site was occupied: female Moische (BG 146, released in 1991) incubated without any break from 11:45 until 16:15. She interrupted for turning the clutch and some movements each 1.5 hrs. Only once mate CIC (BG 186, released in 1993) was observed flying close to the nest site and disappearing towards Val Viera. R. SCHÖPF reported: "on 9th of January, the pair copulated at the nest rock. On 24th of January, both birds flew together close to the nest site. On 25th of January, first incubating was observed." The beginning of brooding was determined on 25th of January, 4 to 6 days earlier as in the past years. The experienced pair exhibited "normal" brooding behaviour. As in 2004, only a few relieves could be observed. Most of the time, the female incubated without any relieve. E. g. on 26th of February, when the female continuously incubated from 08:30 to 15:30. During the whole period, the male was seen only once close to the eyrie. H. ANGERER (Corpo Forestale di Livigno) reported that the nestling hatched on 19th of March. The frequency of relieves at the nest site increased, the offspring was regularly fed. E. g. on 25th of March: one partner flew at the opposing shore of the lake, the other bird (presumably the female) fed the nestling for 20 minutes. Both adult birds together at the eyrie were twice seen on this day (M. NEGRI and R. STRIMER). Checks, done by the author, were made only sporadically, e. g. on 9th of May, when one adult stood at the nest. The nestling was not seen during this check. Employees of Corpo Forestale di Livigno, working in the Nationalpark, observed the fledging of the young bird on 7th of July, eight to 21 days earlier as in previous years (2000: 27th of July; 2002: 15th of July; 2003: 22nd of July; 2004: 22nd of July). On 18th of July, the author observed the young bird sitting far above the eyrie and preening its plumage. When it started to rain, the young bird stayed at this unprotected rock. On 29th of July, the author checked the area around the rock face for moulted feathers and food remains (one very big piece of spine - probably from cattle and deposed there in February below the gravel mine. On this day, the young bird flew high above Dardaligno. The young vulture approached Moische, who came up to her young from the East. Later, the young bird sat in a small cave, obviously seeking shelter from the heat on this day! On 7th of October, R. STRIMER observed a young Bearded Vulture close to Zernez, which was with high probability the young of Pair Livigno. Brooding data of PAIR LIVIGNO in 2005 Clutch Hatching Fledging 25th of January th of March 2005 (54 days) 07th of July 2005 (111 days)

52 52 Monitoring 2005 PAIR BORMIO As in 2004, PAIR BORMIO occupied the eyrie Palone and successfully raised its 6th offspring (the 3rd in eyrie Palone). Feather analysis, done by BARBARA HEFTI-GAUTSCHI revealed that the male changed in the course of 2002/2003. Obviously Tell (BG 283, released in 1997) is the new male partner of Pair Bormio. Until the end of January, both birds were regularly seen together (A. RICCI, boss of Corpo Forestale). Afterwards, only one bird was observed. The start of brooding in this pair was determined as beginning of February, for sure on 5th of February On 19th of February, the author watched one bird incubating, the other breaking a bone not far away from the nest site. Later on, a relieve was observed and in the course of the following hours, the male partner approached the eyrie several times, but the incubating bird did not move. In four hours, the nest was continuously occupied (77% by the female). After all, the Photo: DAVID JENNY, Switzerland Tell, BG 283, new male of PAIR BORMIO on 9th of August 2005 male landed at a rock, in a distance of 100m to the east, preened its plumage and stayed there until 16:30 (when the author left the observation point). The male was intensively coloured but did not show a collar. Jo (BG 169, released in 1992, the female), by contrast had a remarkable, continuous collar. ARICCI reported, that the offspring hatched on 21st or 22nd of March. On 15th of May, the female occupied the eyrie 43% o the time. Jo fed the young bird, then eight weeks old for a number of 20- minutes-feeding-phases. Also the male was seen: chasing jackdaws in front of the nest. The grey coloured nestling seemed to Photo: DAVID JENNY, Switzerland be big and trained its wings. A. PIROVANO reported that Alby Stelvio (BGW 30) fledged on 17th of July. However, all young vultures, which had hatched and fledged from this eyrie in past years showed the tendency to return to the nest site, sometimes for hours. Also in 2005: the author found the young bird laying at the nest platform. The bird gave the impression to be dead! A few minutes later it took off while its parents sat at a rock in Eastern direction and preened their plumage. When the author climbed the basis of a rock, which was often used as roost (for collection of feathers and food remains), both adults and the offspring left and circled around, Alby Stelvio, BGW 30 on 9th of August 2005 showing the species specific behaviour of curiosity! Brooding data of PAIR BORMIO in 2005 Clutch Hatching Fledging 1st to 5th of February st/22nd of March (45-50 days) 117th of July 2005 (117 to 118 days) Feather analysis Four feathers were collected below the roost in Campo di Fiori and were sent to BARBARA HEFTI - GAUTSCHI for examination. The female is Jo, determined since 1994 (!). Remarkable results were revealed with respect to the male: obviously Tell, the male partner of PAIR SINESTRA until 2002 switched to Bormio. In return, Margunet, male of PAIR BORMIO moved to Val Sinestra - male change!.

53 2005 Monitoring 53 PAIR ZEBRU After the second successful reproduction in 2004, the pair switched to the opposing right side of the valley and occupied an old eyrie of Golden Eagles. The birds moved their nesting territory most probably because of the high number of ravens living near the old nest site. In 2005 too, the ravens incubated close to the former Bearded Vulture nest. On 5th of June, A. PIROVANO saw one adult bird in a new eyrie in a rock at the right side of the valley close to an old military camp of WWI near Chitomas. This eyrie is an old Golden Eagle nest. The exact date of the beginning of incubation remains unclear, but it has to be before 1st of February (A. RICCI). If the date of hatching is taken into consideration, the egg may have been laid approx. on 20th of January. On 20th of February, the eyrie was continuously occupied during a period of four hrs of observation. In the course of these four hours, three relieves were seen. Several times the adult brooding bird raised and fed beside the through on some deposed food. When the bird sat down, the typical rocking movements gave proof of incubation. While one partner incubated, the other fed on some carcass at the opposite slope. Photo: DAVID JENNY, Switzerland A. RICCI reported the 17th of March as the hatching date of the offspring. On 15th of May, an eight week old Bearded Vulture could be observed now and then in the nest. The rock below the eyrie was totally smeared with faeces. One of the adult birds (presumably the female) fed the nestling twice for approx. 20 minutes. One adult stayed at the eyrie for 59 % of the time. The nestling begged clearly towards the parent. In the evening, the young bird intensely started to train its wings, the black feathers were rather well developed. A. PIROVANO reported about fledging on 25th or 26th of June, rather early and approx. two weeks earlier then in past years. The bird was approx. 100 days old. On 10th of August, the author observed the young bird flying together with one parent above the nest rock. It landed in a place in a huge rock face. This place was intensively smeared with faeces. The young vulture started to intensively preen its plumage. On this day, both adult DIANA, BG 139 or MAURITIO, BG 264: PAIR ZEBRU on 10th of August 2005 birds circled above the nest rock. A check of the eyrie (after the birds had left) revealed a lot of faeces and very much wool of ibex (as in the eyrie of the past years). Brooding data of PAIR ZEBRU in 2005 Clutch approx. 20th of January 2005 Hatching 17th of March (approx. 54 days) Fledging 25th/26th June ( days) PAIR SINESTRA Also in 2005, the pair of Val Sinestra was not continuously present in its territory - one cannot even speak about "a pair" in the moment. One adult bird was seen in the core area of the territory time and again, but towards the end of the year not even the traditional roosts were approached. In 2004, at times two birds were observed together (with high probability Margunet, BG 149 and Rätia, BG 357). In 2005, observations of "the pair" together were completely lacking. Instead, immature and subadult birds were seen together with one adult Bearded Vulture. The adult bird is with high probability Rätia, which was determined in Also Natura (BG 464) and Folio (BG 463 ) were observed at the Stammerspitze in the course of autumn.

54 54 Monitoring 2005 On 15th of January, one unmarked, immature Bearded Vulture was observed in the core area, breaking bones. On 6th of February, no Bearded Vulture was seen in Val Sinestra within an observation period of six hours. During a count of ibex on 1st of April, G. BROSI observed one adult Bearded Vulture together with two immature birds, feeding at a carcass in the most behind part of Val Chöglias. In the evening, one marked Bearded Vulture was observed close to Griosch (Hubertus, BG 446 or Alpidoc, BG 386). On 16th of April, one adult bird sat at the traditional roost in the upper part of Val Tromas, intensely preening its plumage. Later on, it left the valley and flew towards Vna. On 11th of May, this bird was again seen at the same roost. On 15th and 28th of May, one single adult bird was observed by G. BROSI in the behind part of Val Sinestra. On 17th of July, the adult bird sat again at the traditional roost in Val Tromas and did not leave during an observation period of four hours. On 22nd and 23rd of July, again one adult Bearded Vulture was seen, also on 17th and 20th of August (G. BROSI). On the evening of 5th of September, the adult bird flew together with a four to five years old subadult Bearded Vulture in Val Tromas. Probably the same two birds were seen by G. BROSI on 9th, 11th and 13th of September close to Valpiglia. Photo: DAVID JENNY, Switzerland On 10th of October, one sub-adult bird flew close above Griosch, carrying some food. Later on, it was joined by Folio (BG 463). On 16th of October, D. HEGGLIN observed two Bearded Vultures near Alp Pradgiant: one adult and one sub-adult bird. Both vultures seemed to have their plumage freshly coloured. On 21st of October, again Folio was seen flying at the Stammerspitze, while another (sub-adult) bird circled high above the core area of the territory. On 27th of October, Natura (BG 464) was detected in Val Sinestra (found by D. HEGGLIN using telemetry). No Bearded Vulture was seen in the core area in three hours of observation. Also no observations were made on 18th of December. Sub-adult Bearded Vulture carrying some food on 10th of October. In the course of December, two observations were made, each of an adult bird (on 11th of December above Vná by Mr. RITZMANN and on 13th of December above Alp Pradgiant). The high degree of presence in the core area as well as the high rate of turnover of individuals prove that the Stammerspitze still is optimal Bearded Vulture habitat (livestock of chamois and ibex!). In comparison with the breeding habitat of Nationalpark Stelvio, big and connected rock faces are missing which could be used as suitable breeding places. The eyrie, built in 2003, was not used or approached in A possible reason for the lack of use of this area (apart from suitable breeding places) may be the high presence of the Golden Eagle PAIR SINESTRA. This pair reared one young in In autumn, the pair and their offspring were regularly seen in the core area, but no observations of Bearded Vultures were made.

55 2005 Monitoring 55 PAIR FORAZ Pair Foraz established in the course of The birds were observed on a daily basis in the area of Val S-charl - Val Minger - Val Foraz in the course of winter 2004/05. Feather analysis revealed that both birds are offspring of PAIR LIVIGNO - they are siblings! In the course of spring/summer the number of observations decreased considerably. Nevertheless, the birds regularly approached roosts in the core area of Val Foraz. At the same time (disappearance of the birds in Val Foraz), one adult bird was regularly seen in the nearby Val Nüglia. Maybe this vulture was the older partner of the pair. Towards the end of the year, the sub-adult bird too was seen in Val S-charl. On 27th of February, both birds flew rather low above Pradatsch in Val S-charl. This observation gave some opportunities to determine the age of the birds. One of them was at least five years old, the second still immature (black head, first plumage, approx. 3 years old). Also on 5th of March, both birds flew together in Val S-charl, this time fiercely fighting with the resident Golden Eagle pair. On 30th of April, the younger bird approached a juvenile unmarked "wild" vulture and chased it continuously attacking, from the valley. This event showed the territorial behaviour of the bird in the core area, in spite of its young age. On 11th of May, park warden R. STRIEMER observed the pair in Val Foraz. The adult partner carried wool of chamois in the bill and approached four times the eyrie of 2004, where it deposed the material. Afterwards both birds sat at rocks 50m to the south and showed comfort behaviour. On 29th of May, the eyrie was freshly built, but the birds were not observed on this day. Only on 17th of July, the adult birds was again seen, circling above Val Foraz and mobbed by a Sparrow Hawk. On 25th of July, after a heavy thunderstorm, both birds flew to a roost close to the nest and spent the night together. On 30th of July, the author observed two adult birds for the first time together, which attacked each other rather gently. One of them selected a roost at Piz Nüglia in an altitude of 2900m. It is not real clear which birds they are but it is assumed that one of them is part of Pair Foraz. Checks on 18th of August as well as 12th and 25th of September revealed that the adult bird obviously selected this roost on a regular basis. In Val Foraz, not one Bearded Vulture was seen during checks on 28th of August and on 12th of October. On 12th of October, the author (together with park warden N. A. WILLY) collected three feathers at the basis of the nest rock. These feathers were transferred to BARBARA HEFTI - GAUTSCHI for DNA analysis. On 14th of October, the adult bird again spent the night at the usual roost and was observed on the next day, when it left the valley. Again, no Bearded Vulture was seen in Val Foraz on 13th of November. On 30th of December, the younger partner flew above Pradatsch in Val S-charl and on the sunny side above Mot Madlain, where it approached a roost at 15:00. Up to now it is not real clear if pair bonding has already happened and if a new pair has established. The presence of both birds in the vicinity of Val Foraz promises an interesting future. As on partner of the pair is still too young, brooding can be excluded in the near future. Feather analysis Three feathers were collected below the core area in Val Foraz and analysed by BARBARA HEFTI - GAUTSCHI. Both birds are siblings and freeborn offspring of PAIR LIVIGNO (one female, one male). The older bird may be the first hatched young from 2000 (BGW 08, Livigno), the other from 2002 (BGW 11, Moische Livigno). It is not clear which gender the older bird has. FURTHER OBSERVATIONS SINCE SPRING 2005 Hints to further pair formation are missing also in As in former years, immature or subadult birds were seen staying in the core area during a longer period. In Val Bever, one adult bird settled and could be observed several times with another adult Bearded Vulture.

56 56 Monitoring 2005 Middle Engadine VAL TRUPCHUN In the course of summer and autumn, two immature Bearded Vultures were observed in Val Trupchun on a nearly daily basis. From May to August: one two to three years old bird with a noticeable white patch on the basis of the tail (called "Fleck", i. e. "Spot"; A. á. PORTA). Also one older bird, an unmarked immature bird, was seen there. From September to October, "Fleck" was regularly observed together with an approx. 3.5 years old bird. This bird had a number of pointed feathers and was therefore called "Spitzli" (i. e. "pointed one"). In November, only "Fleck" was seen. Only once, on 9th of July, adult birds were detected (park warden R. STRIEMER). Most of the observations were made by park warden A. á. PORTA (20) but also by R. STRIEMER (4) and by R. MÜLLER (Zuoz: 5). A. á PORTA remarked that "Spitzli" maybe is Martell (BG 395, released in 2002). This bird was present in Val Trupchun in 2004 and was seen close to Zernez on 8th of April ZERNEZ - LA PUNT In contrast to Val Trupchun, rather few observations were made in the area of Zernez: R. STRIEMER saw one immature bird near Mot sainza Bön, on 20th of July. And one immature bird close to God da las Chasettas on 7th of October. On 2nd of November, the author located Natura (BG 464) near Ova Spin (thanks to reports of radio tracking; D. HEGGLIN). One immature bird flew close to S-chanf on 1st of May and on 23rd of September (A. á PORTA). On 8th of October, the author observed two Bearded Vultures in Val Punt Ota: one adult bird and one unmarked immature together with three Golden eagles. Natura was located via radio tracking in the adjacent Val Susauna on 27th and 28th of September (D. HEGGLIN). One adult bird was seen above Zuoz on 19th of August together with "Fleck" and "Spitzli" (Martell) - all three were fighting. On 18th of November, H. LOZZA, saw one adult Bearded Vulture together with an immature above Zuoz. On 15th of July, also Natura was observed and on 14th of September one immature bird close to Zernez (R. MÜLLER). An additional adult bird was seen on 17th of August in Val Chamuera by game warden P. SCHANIEL. On 30th of November, one Bearded Vulture of unknown age was seen above the ponds of Gravatscha near Bever. VAL BEVER In winter, one adult bird was regularly seen near Bever and above Samedan (see chapter WINTER OBSERVATIONS). In the course of the summer months it stayed in the behind part of Val Bever close to Alp Suvretta. In this area, the shepherd of this mountain pasture observed it "practically on a daily basis" (game supervisor G. LARGIADER). In autumn, the bird switched to the front part of the valley, where it used the thermal lift of the south exposed, crystalline rocks above Spina. The obvious "adhesion", which this vultures showed towards Golden Eagles was remarkable. In most of the observations, the Bearded Vulture flew together with two Golden Eagles, chasing them for hours and sometimes also fought rather fiercely with them. In November, a second adult Bearded Vulture appeared. Both birds flew together and attacked each other sometimes. At least one of them regularly spent the nights in rocks above Prasüratsch, in the middle part of the valley. This bird was marked with a red ring on its left leg (so it could be Valimosche, BG 220, released in 1994 or Ellen, BG 089, released in 1986). On 6th of October, game supervisor G. LARGIADER saw the adult bird selecting a roost below the Piz dals Blais. On 7th of October, the bird flew low above Prasüratsch and on 8th of October as well as 10th, 11th and 12th of October, A. KOFLER observed it in the front part of the valley, most of the time

57 2005 Monitoring 57 flying together with three Golden Eagles. Also on 15th of October, it flew together with one adult Golden Eagle above Spinas. On 14th of October, G. LARGIADER observed this bird in the behind part of the valley, together with one immature, unmarked Bearded Vulture. On 30th of October the bird circled together with four Golden Eagles for a long time below Crasta Mora. It chased an immature Eagle along the whole valley towards Piz Uter (distance of 7km!) and back! In this chase, the Bearded Vulture again and again attacked the Golden Eagle, but the Eagle did not leave the valley. In the evening, the Bearded Vulture again flew together with three Golden Eagles, in the front part of the valley. J. FALETT (Samedan) too observed these actions. On 8th of November, the author, per case, found the signal of Natura in Val Bever. Short time afterwards, the adult bird appeared and attacked Natura, which sat on the ground. Afterwards, both birds flew together and Natura attacked the adult bird. On 9th of November too, the author observed Natura. This time the bird was attacked by an immature Golden Eagle. On 12th of November, T. SPIRIG observed the adult bird together with two Golden Eagles and on 14th of November, the adult bird flew together with the resident Golden Eagle pair for more than one hour. The vulture chased the eagles to and fro along a ridge near Crasta Mora. Later on, a second adult bird joined them. On 18th of November, the adult bird again flew together with the eagles above Bever, where all three birds attacked each other during flying. Photos: D. JENNY, Switzerland Since summer 2005, one adult Bearded Vulture, sometimes even two (above left) stayed in Val Bever. Very often they could be observed flying together with Golden Eagles - a number of attacks could be observed (above right). One of the adult birds is 11 years old, maybe even 19 (left). Photos taken on 14th and 18th of November On 20th of November, G. LARGIADER saw the bird flying above Spinas, carrying a piece of some carcass. Mr. LARGIADER reported to have seen a RED RING ON THE RIGHT LEG and maybe a red too one on the left (but this is not for sure). So, the adult bird could be Ellen (BG 089), released in 1986 in Rauris, Austria. But further eight birds (released in 1986 and in 1994) with a red ring on the right leg should be taken into consideration. On 27th of November, the author again observed two adult birds together at the entrance of the valley. Both birds chased and attacked each other rather gently. In

58 58 Monitoring 2005 the evening, one of the birds approached a roost below Dschimels at an altitude of 2.300m above sea level. On 2nd of December, this bird again was observed by G. ZANETTI close to Cratsa Mora. On 11th of December, the bird again flew together with one Golden Eagle above Muntatsch above Samedan. On 29th of December, the adult bird approached the roost in the crystalline rocks below Dschimels already at 15:00. UPPER ENGADINE Similar to 2004, also in 2005 only a few observations were made in the most upper part of Engadine: one unmarked, immature bird was seen in the most upper part of Bergell on 10th of May 2005 (gamekeeper R. BASS). On 28th of July, one immature bird was seen at the Albulapass (R. MÜLLER). On 23rd of September, one adult bird circled above Samedan. This bird may have been the bird from the Bever-valley (Ch. ROTHENBÜHLER). On 29th of October, one immature Bearded Vulture was seen at Piz Albris and on 25th of November, Natura (BG 464) circled at Piz Lagrev. At this place, Natura had been located already on 24th of November by D. HEGGLIN. On 10th of December, was again located via radio - telemetry, while flying together with a power glider. UNDER ENGADINE Only a few observations were made outside the territories of PAIR SINESTRA and PAIR FORAZ. On 1st of May, two immature birds were seen near Ftan. On 8th of May, presumably the same two birds were observed at the entrance of Val Tasna. The Bearded Vultures chased and attacked each other. On 12th of May, one immature bird flew above Susch and on 27th of June, one was seen near Tarasp (R. MÜLLER). On 13th of July, two adult (!) birds were seen near Tantersassa above Ardez (E. MÜHLETALER). Also in Val Tuoi one adult bird was seen (23rd of July). No further observations of adult birds were made. On 21st of September, one Bearded Vulture of unknown age was seen near Tschlin (Mr. ANDRI). In the course of a hunt, Bearded Vultures were observed in Val Plavna (H. SCHU- LER) and Val Tasna (Mr. RITZMANN). D. HEGGLIN located Natura on 27th of October in Val Sinestra, and in the evening of 5th of November, the author saw this bird at a roost in the behind part of Val Tasna. RELEASE SITE MARGUNET After the release of the birds Natura and Folio (both equipped with transmitters) on 11th of June, a number of immature and adult birds visited the release cave, obviously attracted by the two juveniles as well as the feeding place. Also the young brown bear (Ursus arctos) from Trentino, which stayed in the area of Ofenpass during the late summer, fed on the meat in the night from 27th to 28th of July. The bear did not feed on strongly decomposed meat. In the time from 11th of June to 8th of August, the monitoring team of D. HEGGLIN observed repeatedly a minimum of three (maybe four) adult birds and two immature Bearded Vultures. On 27th of July, two adult birds flew together with the juvenile vultures and landed at a rock above Margunet. The transmitter was still fixated on Folio on this day but got lost on one of the following days. On 10th of December, the lost transmitter was found using a power glider for the survey. Habitat: Piz Starlex in Münstertal, at an altitude of 2900m. Folio (BG 463) lost the transmitter a few days after this photos had been taken (27th of Ju.ly 2005). At this time, the transmitter already was tilted. PHOTO: D. JENNY, SWITZERLAND The identity of the visiting Bearded Vultures remained unclear.

59 2005 Monitoring 59 OUTSIDE ENGADINE AVERS In the course of late winter, two Bearded Vulture were regularly seen by game keeper S. JÄGER in Avers, between Juf, Juppa and Bergala (12 times from 19th of March to 30th of April). These birds were Ortler (BG 434, marked with a transmitter and released in 2004) and one unmarked immature Bearded Vulture. On 24th of April, the immature bird fought fiercely with a Golden Eagle. Until end of May, Ortler was present in Avers, but switched to Wallis and to Haute Savoie (D. HEGGLIN). On 22nd of May, one adult bird was seen near Carvetta. As from June, the number of observations decreased slightly. 13 observations of the immature bird were made until 17th of November. At least one observation of an adult bird was made on 10th of November (all records by game keeper S. JÄGER). TAMINA VALLEY (SG) J. RUPP (Vadura) observed one adult bird from 14th to 23rd of March between Vättis and Vadura on a daily basis. This bird often flew together with Golden Eagles and also landed in trees. Maybe it is the same bird, which stayed in the Weisstanntal in past autumn (AR 2004). SUMMARY AND PROSPECTS PAIR LIVIGNO raised its fifth offspring (four times in a row in the same eyrie above the gravel mine at the left side of Lake Livigno). As in former years, the eyrie was monitored (Corpo Forestale di Livigno/Bormio and park wardens of Swiss National Park). The brooding happened without any problems. The experienced pair is built by CIC (BG 186) and Moische (BG 146). The fledging date of the offspring (BGW 29, Rudy, 7th of July) was two weeks earlier as in former years. PAIR BORMIO raised its sixth offspring. Brooding in the west exposed eyrie Palone happened without problems. As in previous years, also this offspring (BGW 30, Alby) visited the nest several times after fledging (17th July). The pair consists of Jo (BG 169) and Tell (BG 283), which appeared in 2002 (coming from Val Sinestra), obviously replacing the former partner Margunet (BG 149). PAIR ZEBRU was successful too. Diana (BG 139) and Mauritio (BG 264) reared their third offspring, which fledged very early (BGW 28, Lucy, 25th of 26th of July). The eyrie of 2005 is a former nest site of Golden Eagles and is situated at the opposing side of the nest site of 2003 and In the core area of pair Sinestra, only one adult bird was regularly seen. This bird could be Retia (BG 357). The partner (Margunet), which was determined in 2004 had disappeared. Immature and juvenile birds were regularly seen in this area, but no signs of pair formation were observed. Nevertheless, Retia may chose a partner in the coming years. One pair, which was present in Val S-charl in 2004, was also observed in the core area of Val Foraz. In the course of autumn, both birds switched the roosts to the adjacent Val Nüglia. At the end of the year, at least one partner was seen again in Val S-charl. Feather analysis, done by B. HEFTI - GAUT- SCHI, revealed, that both birds are wild born offspring of PAIR LIVIGNO (2000, BGW 08, Livigno and 2002, BGW 11, Moische - Livigno). A total of 14 offspring was reared by three pairs, this means an average reproduction rate of 0.74 young/pair/year (BORMIO: 0.75; LIVIGNO: 0.71; ZEBRU: 0.75). This is a remarkable higher value than of the population in the Pyrenees (0.57). In 2005, seven young birds were reared in the whole area of the Alps - a new record! Up to now, a total of 27 offspring was raised in nature, 14 of which by pairs formed by "Engadine birds" (52%). In addition to this enjoyable high breeding success, an increasing number of establishing pairs could be detected. The high degree of discontinuity with respect to pair bonding and establishing of a territory in the two pairs of Under - Engadine, can also be found in birds in Hohe Tauern NP (Austria) an Nature Park Argentera (Italy). We can look to coming years with interest and pleasant anticipation: the development of a free ranging population is a batch-wise process, not a matter of continuous increase.

60 60 Monitoring 2005 The project «BEARDED VULTURE ON THE MOVE»: First results of a satellite tracking study by Daniel Hegglin* & Adrian Aebischer ** INTRODUCTION In summer 2004 started the project «BEARDED VULTURE ON THE MOVE». In this project single released young Bearded Vultures get marked with satellite transmitters. This technology allows to follow continuously the marked birds and thus provides basic data to study the spatial behaviour of immature Bearded Vultures. Furthermore this method can supplement the monitoring network, and it gives the opportunity to a broad public to continuously follow the peregrinations of each single bird on the internet. This attractive information helps to fascinate people for the Bearded Vulture and its alpine habitat. Up to know two Bearded Vultures are marked with a satellite tag: Ortler (BG 439), which was released at the release site in Martell in summer 2004, and Natura (BG 464) that was marked in the Swiss National Park in summer Another two Bearded Vultures, Culan (BG 438, 2004) and Folio (BG 463, 2005), lost the satellite transmitter before they dispersed from the release site (for details see PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF ORTLER The young female Ortler was marked with a satellite transmitter that was fixed on the base of a tail feather (HEGGLIN ET AL. 2002). Because the tail feathers are not fully developed at the age of fledging, Ortler had to be re-trapped one month after fledging. At this age it is possible to properly mount the transmitter. The satellite-transmitter weighted 35 gram and was programmed to send in a first phase continuously signals during a period of 6 hours with a subsequent OFF-period of 57 hours. To save power and extend the lifetime of the transmitter, during a second phase the six hour ON-periods started every 139 hours (15th of March - 31st of July 2005) and during a third phase every 188 hours (1st of September 2005 onwards). In total we received 126 locations with a monthly mean of 10.9 locations during the first phase, 5.8 locations during the second phase and 0.8 locations during the third phase. Ortler remained the first three months after fledging very ORTLER (A) close to the release site (FIGURE 1). The area of the MCP (Minimal Convex Polygon) during this period was 290 km 2 only (s. TABLE 1). In the following months Ortler extended it s range continuously. During the last quarter of 2004 Ortler spent a lot of time in the Valley di Braulio and its near surrounding where an adult pair raised successfully a nestling that year. During the first quarter of 2005 Ortler shifted the center of activity to the southern border of the canton Grison (s. FIGURE 1). * Stiftung Pro Bartgeier, 7530 Zernez & SWILD urban ecology & wildlife research, Wuhrstr. 12, CH-8003 Zürich, Switzerland, **Conservation Biology, Zoological Institute, University of Berne, Erlachstrasse 9a, CH Bern, Switzerland,

61 2005 Monitoring 61 Figure 1:. Satellite locations of the young Bearded Vultures Ortler (A) and Natura (B). During February 2005, when NATURA (B) a lot of snow was lying in most parts of the alps, the young female was located mainly in the region of the upper Veltlin and the Puschlav, where it had a relatively thin snow cover. During the second quarter the most locations where much more dispersed than in the previous months. Only few locations were recorded from the third and forth quarter of All of them originated from the western parts of the alps (s. FIGURE 1). Several locations originated from the Parque Nationale de la Vanoise where up to know three pairs of Bearded Vultures bred successfully. The MCP for all 126 locations measured km 2 (s. TABLE 1). TABLE 1:. The Minimum Convex Polygons (MCP) of the satellite locations from the two marked juvenile Bearded Vultures Ortler (marked in June 2004) and Natura (marked in June 2005). The MCP s are given for the single periods (MCP period) and for the whole time since marking (MCP total). BG year of life quarter of year MCP periods MCP total N locations MCP (km2) N locations MCP (km2) Ortler 1st year 3rd quarter th quarter 33 5' '692 2nd year 1st quarter nd quarter '577 3rd & 4th quarter 12 2' '296 Natura 1st year 3rd quarter 43 2' '061 4th quarter 61 9' '458 PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF NATURA The tag on the young female Natura was attached on its back by a harness described in HEGGLIN ET AL. (2004). This made it possible to use a more powerful satellite transmitter than for Ortler. Furthermore this method had the advantage that we could mount the expandable harness before the young bird fledged and thus re-trapping was not necessary. The satellite-transmitter weighted 95 gram and was programmed to send signals every 55 hours for 8 hours during the first year. After one year (June 2006) the transmitter will send signals every 103 hours. From July to December 2005, a total of 104 locations were received (17.3 locations per month). The locations where more dispersed during the first six months after fledging than compared to Ortler (s. TABLE 1). After dispersing from the release site the centre of activity shifted first to Italy near Bormio (September 2005), to the lower Engadina (October and beginning of November 2005) and thereafter to the upper Engadina and Bregalia (December 2005, s. FIGURE 1). At the end of December the MCP extended over km 2. As Ortler, Natura has also been located various times in valleys where adult Bearded Vultures have been seen regularly.

62 62 Monitoring 2005 PUBLIC INTEREST The releases of the satellite-tagged Bearded Vultures was accompanied by a broad interest of the media in Switzerland. All major journals and TV stations reported about the Bearded Vulture and the reintroduction project. Every two months, we informed on the website WEGS about the peregrinations of the marked Bearded Vultures. We registered visits during This corresponds to a mean number of 190 visitors per day. Per visit a mean number of 26.5 clicks on single pages and pictures were recorded. The website offers the possibility to subscribe to a newsletter. Subscribers get informed via each time when news about the project are uploaded to the website. During 2005 the number of subscribers increased from 555 to The Internetsite is available in English, French, Italian and German and the subscribers live in 29 different countries. The majority of the subscribers lives in Switzerland (83%), followed by Germany, Italia, France and Austria. PRELIMINARY CONCLUSIONS AND OUTLOOK Satellite telemetry is rather expensive and is not an alternative to the monitoring based on the international observation network. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages. For example the observation network can give basic data about the whole population, while results from the satellite tracking are limited to few individuals. Furthermore the former method is very valuable by actively involving a broad public into the reintroduction project. On the other hand satellite telemetry allows to get spatial data gathered continuously in space. By combining the two methods we can gain valuable synergistic effects. Direct observation of the behaviour can give important additional information to the spatial data got by satellite telemetry. Furthermore it helps to better estimate the location accuracy of the locations got by the satellites. On the other hand satellite data can give information about spatial and temporal gaps in the observation network. In addition, the continuous surveillance can help to better estimate the error quote of the received direct observation in future, what is essential to determine the confidence intervals of estimates of the survival rate. The satellite telemetry enabled us for the first time to get regular location data from released Bearded Vultures independently from time and space. The use of a transmitter that is mounted with a harness allowed us to use in 2005 a more powerful transmitter than in This gives the chance to get more data for a longer time. Both marked juveniles shifted various times their centre of activity (see animated maps on and visited several times regions where adult Bearded Vultures have been seen regularly. To derive general conclusions about the spatial behaviour of juvenile Bearded Vultures more individuals should be followed with satellite telemetry. Therefore it is planned to mark another two juvenile Bearded Vulture in Currently the use of satellite transmitters with GPS module is evaluated. This would allow to get more accurate location data in future. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The project «Bearded Vultures on the Move» is integrated in the LIFE project "International programme for the Bearded Vulture in the Alps where different European partners - associated in the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture - collaborate. The programme is financially supported by WWF Switzerland, the LIFE project "International programme for the Bearded Vulture in the Alps, the Zurich Animal Protection Society (Zürcher Tierschutz), the Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL). Furthermore the project gains substantial support by the Conservation Biology of the University of Berne, the Natur- und Tierpark Goldau and the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio. Many thanks also to Alex Llopis Dell, Beat Naef-Daenzer, Chasper Buchli, David Jenny, Fabio Bontadina, Felix Weber, Florian Gorfer, Franz Gamper, Gunter Gressmann, Hans Frey, Hanspeter Gunsch, Jürg Paul Müller, Kathi Märki, Martin Wehrle, Mario Negri, Michael Knolleisen, Raphaël Arlettaz, Richard Zink, Robert Eksic, Sandra Gloor, Therese Hotz, Thomas Pachlatko, Centro de Cría Guadelatín, Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture, Vienna Breeding Unit, Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Zoo de La Garenne, Zoo Liberec, Zoo Prague, the Game Wardens of the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio and the Swiss National Park and many others who have contributed to the project. REFERENCES HEGGLIN, D, AEBISCHER, A, WEHRLE, M (2002): Mounting devices for satellite tracking Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) preliminary results. Annual Report of the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture. 2002: HEGGLIN, D, AEBISCHER, A, WEHRLE, M (2004): Satellite tracking of Bearded Vultures - the project «BEARDED VULTURES ON THE MOVE». Annual Report of the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture. 2004:

63 2005 Monitoring 63 Hohe Tauern National Park Breeding in the wild 2005 by Michael Knollseisen * Also in the year 2005 we had a breeding attempt in the valley of Gastein. The breeding site was positioned very close to an all year used walking trail in one of the national park hunting reserves. Aim of the continuous monitoring from January to April was the documentation of the breeding and the identification of the reasons for a possible failure. In agreement with local hunters, foresters, alpinists and the avalanche commission (due to helicopter fligths for estimating danger of avalanche) possible disturbances were dropped out. Breeding started the 25th of January and ended shortly after the death of the nestling on 27th of March. The day after, the nest was entered to secure genetic samples and to remove the second not hatched egg. The reason for the failure can be found in a combination of different factors: The death of the embryo in the second laid egg in the first weeks of incubation and the continuous putrefaction can infect also the growing embryo in the other egg weakening it in a way to insecure its survival after hatching. The reason for the death of the embryo is unknown, but it had to be seen in connection with the continuous presence of an aggressive third adult Bearded Vulture. The adult female, living lonely in the National Park, is behaving aggressive towards released vultures since years. During the whole incubation period she tried continuously to enter the breeding area defended by the incubating couple causing problems with breeding changeovers and finding food for the nestling born in the weak of Easter. Against all expectations the couple did not break up during 2005 and actually they are building a new nest. There are still regular interactions with a third adult Bearded Vulture. For the year 2006 we expect another hopefully successful breeding attempt. Austrian Bearded Vulture Monitoring 2005 by Gunter Gressmann ** In the year 2005 a lot of news, mostly good, but also some bad ones happened. This years` breeding attempt failed again, possibly due to aggressive interactions with a third adult Bearded Vulture. Meanwhile, the number of adult, stationary birds seems to rise; and the number of observers, especially the number of (professional) hunters is growing up to persons by now. Table 1 depicts the number of observers, forwarding Bearded Vulture sightings to one of the monitoring centres in Heiligenblut and Matrei. Due to a severe winter with, in some Austrian regions, the highest amount of snow for years, the number of observations of Bearded Vultures remained very low until May. Table 1. Number of observers per district OBSERVERS VORARLBERG TYROL CARINTHIA SALZBURG STYRIA UPPER AUSTRIA OTHERS TOTAL JUVENILE BIRDS This year, two birds have been released in the Salzburg part of the National Park Hohe Tauern. The release site was situated near the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße. An information booth was built up near the street (at the "Fuscherlacke"), so thousands of people could be informed about the project and the two female birds BG 462, Escalero and BG 465, Doraja. Escalero s maiden flight was on the 30th of June, until the end of August she stayed near the release site. In September and October the bird was observed in eastern Tyrol for several times. The last observation refers to the Caranthian Seebachtal at the end of October. Doraja started her first flight on the 7th of July. Until the end of August she also stayed near the release site, afterwards she disappeared. Until the editorial deadline, at the beginning of Novem- * EGS Österreich, Untertauern 3, A-9844 Heiligenblut, Austria. ** EGS Österreich, Johann-Panzl-Straße 5, 9971 Matrei i.o., Austria.

64 64 Monitoring 2005 ber, only two observations of Doraja (on the 8th of September and the 1st of October) have been forwarded to the monitoring centres since then. Both sightings succeeded in Salzburg, in the "Steinernes Meer" near the German border. The two birds released in the Swiss National park, BG 464, Natura and BG 463, Folio, could be identified in Tyrol and Vorarlberg for several times in autumn. IMMATURE BIRDS BG 446, Hubertus (Kals, 2004) was rarely seen in the first half of After some proven observations until the 13th of January, the bird disappeared. On the 1st of April, the bird was identified in Switzerland, at the beginning of July south of the mountain "Triglav" in Slovenia. The next Austrian observation was reported from the Radstädter Tauern in Salzburg on the 12th of August. From that time on, a lot of sightings confirm Hubertus stay in Austria. BG 435, Culan, released in southern Tyrol in 2004, was identified only once in Austria. The observation succeeded in northern Tyrol s Piz valley at the end of May. On the 15th of October an observation of a bird with three marks was reported from Rennweg in Carinthia. It seemd to be that this observation belongs to BG 439, Ortler (Martell 2004). Not proven, but possible, remains the observation of BG 441, Bella Cha (Doran 2004) in Austria in 2005 twice. Accordingly the bird was seen in eastern Tyrol at the beginning of May, and in northern Tyrol at the end of June. BG 422, Kasati (Mallnitz 2003) circled above Styria, Upper Austria, eastern and northern Tyrol at the beginning of the year. After that, the bird was visiting the area of Prägraten in eastern Tyrol, wherefrom a lot of observations were reported until the end of June. Afterwards the bird shifted its occurrence, and was seen in the area of Kals (also eastern Tyrol). At the middle of August it became harder to identify Kasati, as it lost its marks. At the moment, some clues point out the possibility that the bird is near Prägraten again. The bird BG 420, Joker (Mallnitz 2003), could be identified for several times in the Carinthian Pöllatal, and additionally in eastern Tyrol until the middle of July. A picture taken on the 24th of September indicates the bird, either still having both marks or featuring one mark and a moult. On the 19th of June, a probably three year old bird with some residues of marks was seen near Hallein. It is unclear, if this observation confirms the presence of BG 413, Jausiers (Mercantour, 2003) or BG 418, Transalpaete (Doran 2003). There is also the chance that Transalpaete was seen in November in Eastern Tyrol. An observation on the 10th of August in the Kruml valley in Salzburg probably concerns BG 413, Jausiers or BG 424, Thuri (Engadin, 2003). Maybe BG 424, Thuri was also seen in the middle of December in the Paznaun valley. But it is possible, that this observation belongs to BG 463, Folio. A probably four year old bird, possibly BG 392, Ambo (Gastein 2003), was seen in the area of Salzburg between Muhr and Gastein. It is not out of question that two observations in autum could belong to BG 433, Blangiar (Agentera 2004). Additionally to these observations a lot of other observations of immature birds, without marks or only rests of marks could not become identified to a special bird. SUBADULT AND ADULT BIRDS Both vultures released in eastern Tyrol in 2001, BG 372, El Dorado und BG 373, Christa, could not be identified. Though, some sightings of a subadult bird in the Gschlöß valley of eastern Tyrol might concern one of these. El Dorado was often identified in this area until she lost her marks. In 2005, the mentioned subadult bird was circling together with BG 462, Escalero for a few days in October. In the last years, three adult birds could regularly be seen in Austria. One of them is supposed to be BG 138, Nicola (Rauris 1991). Consequently, Nicola would be the oldest bird, which can be identified in Austria at the moment. The Bearded Vulture is circling above Heiligenblut (Carinthia), Rauris (Salzburg) and Kals (eastern Tyrol). The other two birds form the sole Austrian Bearded Vulture pair, using the Gastein-valley in Salzburg as the core area of their territory. They are BG 260, Andreas Hofer (Rauris 1996) and BG 263, Berna (Engadin 1996). This pair conducted another breeding attempt in 2005, but was regularly

65 2005 Monitoring 65 disturbed by the agressive behaviour of BG 138, Nicola. In autumn, a new nest was found, which was again built by this pair in the area of Gastein. During the last year, the Austrian Monitoring team assumed the presence of at least two more adult birds in Austria. This hypothesis could be corroborated in One of those birds is likely to be BG 296, Jackpot 3 (Rauris 1998). He is seen very often in eastern Tyrol, which is probably a part of his territory. The other bird is usually seen east of the territory of the pair Gastein. This bird was occasionally observed during the breeding surveillance of the Austrian pair in Gastein. Additionally there are some observations in Styria and the eastern part of Salzburg. It is possible, that these sightings concern the female, almost adult bird BG 350, Bingo (Mallnitz 2000). While being juvenile, she was regularly observed in these areas. In Vorarlberg and the southern part of northern Tyrol, adult Bearded Vultures are sporadically sighted as well, but those are presumably visitors from Switzerland or Italy. In 2005, observations of adult birds done in Tyrol and Vorarlberg succeeded especially in autumn. CONCLUSION TABLE 2 depicts Bearded Vultures, which could be identified in Austria in 2005 or it is very likely that an observation belongs to this bird. Additionally, a minimum of five birds could be eventually identified (cf. Table 3). Table 2. Birds identified or likely seen in Austria in BEARDED VULTURE NAME RELEASE SITE BG 465 Doraja Fuscherlacke 2005 BG 462 Escalero Fuscherlacke 2005 BG 464 Natura Engadin 2005 BG 463 Folio Engadin 2005 BG 446 Hubertus 2 Kals 2004 BG 439 Ortler Martell 2004 BG 438 Culan Martell 2004 BG 422 Kasati Mallnitz 2003 BG 420 Joker Mallnitz 2003 BG 392 Ambo Gastein 2002 BG 372 El Dorado Gschlöß 2001 BG 350 Bingo Mallnitz 2000 BG 296 Jackpot 3 Rauris 1998 BG 263 Berna Engadine 1996 BG 260 Andreas Hofer Rauris 1996 BG 138 Nicola Rauris 1991 Table 3. Eventual identification BEARDED VULTURE BG 441 BG 433 BG 424 BG 418 BG 413 BG 392 NAME Bella Cha Blangiar Thuri Transalpaete Jausiers Ambo RELEASE SITE Doran 2004 Agentera 2004 Engadin 2003 Doran 2003 Mercantour 2003 Gastein 2002 Additionally several observations of unidentified Bearded Vultures. Therefore, a total amount of at least 16 different birds could be observed in the year Addtionally about old observations including the behaviour of the birds from the beginning of the project have been fed into the database of the IBM by SILVIA OTTO.

66 66 Monitoring 2005 Status of the Bearded Vulture in Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio in 2005 by Andrea Pirovano*, Luca Pedrotti*, Alberto Ricci** In 2005, three out of the seven pairs (43%) that successfully reproduced over the whole alpine area, were located in the Lombardia Sector of Stelvio National Park, confirming the importance of this Park for the conservation of Bearded Vulture. MONITORING OF BREEDING ACTIVITY: Monitoring and nestpatrolling activity was carried out in 2005 for 155 days, most of them (51,6%) covered by the Rangers of Corpo Forestale dello Stato (CTA of Bormio). Observations on the time (%) spent by a pair in 60,00 Incubation breeding behaviour, indicate that in 2005 during 46,24 chick rearing 40,00 the incubation (the period between laying and hatching date) one of the 20,00 9,35 two partners was practically always at the nest, 0,00 2,44 2,37 0,10 while the second one leaved rapidly the nest s at nest in flight settled cliff. During chick rearing period (the period between Figure 1. Percentage of time spent at the nest during incubation and rearing. the hatching of the first egg and chick fledging), both partners left on the contrary for a variable time the nest, but one of two remained for a longer time in the sorroundings of nest s cliff, probably to control the young. % 2005 REPRODUCTIVE SEQUENCES: 120,00 100,00 80,00 97,46 Frequency of breeding behaviour BREEDING PAIR - PARTNERS BRAULIO: Tell (BG 283) Jo (BG 169) ZEBRÙ: Mauritio (BG 264) Diana (BG 139) LIVIGNO: Cic (BG 186) Moische ( BG 146) LAYING HATCHING FLEDGING 17th Jan 05 first observ. 21st Mar 05 17th Jul 05 05th Feb 05 first observ. 17th Mar 05 06th Jul 05 25th Jan 05 19th Mar 05 07/8th Jul 05 In 2005, ZEBRÙ PAIR changed the nest used since The new nest is an old Golden Eagle nest and is located at the opposite south exposed slope respect to the oldest nest. Since the nest was very exposed to the sun, the 25th of June, in a particularly hot week, the young jumped from the nest to a more shadow place located below it. The young fledged from this location the 6th of July PATROLLING ACTIVITY: This surveillance activity was aimed to preserve the breeding pairs from any risk of human disturbance. This action was carried out especially for the nests of Livigno and Zebrù, since Braulio is almost unaccessible, because of its position in the middle of steep and high calcareous slopes and because the road that takes to Stelvio pass is closed till June. * Consorzio del Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio via Roma Bormio (SO),Italy. ** Corpo Forestale dello Stato CTA di Bormio via Monte Braulio Bormio (SO) Italy.

67 2005 Monitoring 67 About 30 Forest rangers from Lombardia sector of Stelvio National Park (Valtellina), working in shift, were employed in the patrolling activity. LIVIGNO nest is very close to an ice fall of considerable dimension and interest for ice-climbers. To minimize the possible detrimental effects of the human presence on Bearded Vultures, several actions have been carried out by the Stelvio N.P.: 1) thanks to the Livigno Mayor s ordinance, the access to the ice fall was forbidden; 2) patrolling activity was conducted during the incubation period (when the ice fall is frequented by the climbers) to guarantee the observance of the prohibition; 3) the Stelvio N.P. produced an informative poster to inform people about the reasons of this ban. The poster has been located at the beginning of the path that takes to the ice-fall; 4) information about the climbing ban was reported in the web sites on ice-climbing activity. As for the ZEBRÙ new nest, it is well known by the local people because in the past the nest was occupied by a Golden Eagle and some photographers put a wood pole with a photo-camera near it to take photos. BEARDED VULTURES MONITORING: To improve the monitoring of Bearded Vultures, in 2004 and 2005 the Park organized two contemporaneous census of Bearded Vulture individuals present on the territory of Stelvio N. P., (Sondrio, Brescia, Bolzano and Trento) and in the surrounding areas. In 2004 a total of 67 people (10 people in South Tirol sector, 38 in Lombardia sector and 17 in Trentino sector ) participated, whereas in people (12 people in South Tirol sector, 38 in Lombardia sector and 37 in Trentino sector) were involved. During the 2004 Census, seven Bearded Vultures [6 adults (territorial pairs) and 1 subadult) were observed while in 2005, eight Bearded Vultures [6 adults (territorial pairs), 1 subadult and 1 immature] were counted by the participants. The sub-adult individual was observed in a Golden Eagle nest. All these observations were concentrated in the Lombardia sector of the National Park. At the moment, no new breeding pairs have been reported, neither in Stelvio National Park territory, nor in bordering areas, although some interesting observations with respect to a young Bearded Vulture observed outside the National Park border, will be verified next Spring. During 2005 with Stelvio National Park staff in charge of surveillance in Lombardia sector of the Park (CTA of Bormio) and with Trento and Bolzano provincial forest warders, 180 total sightings of Bearded Vulture have been registered as following: seven in Bolzano province, 18 in Trento province and 155 in Lombardia. Altogheter, 113 adult individuals (62.77%), 18 subadults (10.00%), 23 immature subjects (12.77%), 19 juveniles (10.55%) and seven undetermined individuals (3.89%) have been sighted during In the following graph a summary of frequency of age classes observed during is given. Frequency of age classes in Bearded vulture's sightings during % 80,00 70,00 60,00 50,00 40,00 30,00 20,00 10,00 0,00 67,60 68,72 62,77 10,00 6,18 12,77 5,4 10,55 18,80 9,65 3,89 10,04 3,60 5,60 4,40 Adult Subadult Immature Juvenile Indet

68 68 Monitoring 2005 In order to monitor the possible presence of new pairs, especially outside the park, the Park organized courses aimed to create a network of observers in particular in central Alps and in Lombardia during spring The course, carried out in collaboration with Lombardia Region Administration, involved a total of 139 people among rangers of Provincial Administrations of Sondrio, Bergamo, Lecco, Brescia and Como (73 people; Alpine Prov.), Voluntary Ecological Rangers (36 people; GEV), and "Wildlife Group of the Italian Alpine Club (30 people; C.A.I.). % of people involved in the courses The courses were of an one-day duration 0,6 and combined classroom and practical 0,5251 activities. In the first 0,5 half of the course (before lunch) participants 0,4 attended a theoretical lesson 0,259 0,3 about Bearded Vulture 0,216 ecology and age- 0,2 class identification techniques. After 0,1 0 lunch a field lesson was done in Zebrù Valley to watch Bearded Vultures. % GEV Alpine Prov. CAI One of the partners of PAIR LIVIGNO (Moische, BG 146 or CIC, BG 186). PHOTO: A. PIROVANO, ITALY

69 2005 Monitoring 69 The situation in Aosta Valley and in the National Park Gran Paradiso, Italy by Paolo & Laura Fasce *, Martino Nicolino **, Massimo Bocca *** VALDIGNE In this territory, between summer 2004 and spring 2005, PAOLO and LAURA FASCE spent 25 days in observation. In winter the pair, present at least since the spring 2004, was formed by an adult male (identified, by means of observation of the rings, as Républic 13, BG 335, released in 1999 in Haute Savoie France) and a female in her fifth winter, non identified (probably Christelle, BG 363, released in 2000 in Engadin Switzerland). On the 6th of November a nest was found, in a cliff exposed to NNE, at 2200 m above the sea level. The pair, although the site in winter was very difficult to be reached, has been frequently checked and did not lay eggs. A possible disturbing factor in this territory, which lies outside protected areas, is the frequently recurrent practice of "ELISKI (people is brought by helicopter on top of mountains, to ski down the slopes) in winter and early spring. To avoid this disturbance, we asked and obtained from the competent Councillorship of the Region Aosta Valley a change in the fly route of helicopters. The pair is still present and already during the month of July 2005 was observed on the nest. VALLE DI RHÊMES During the winter and until spring 2004 two birds of the same age were present in this valley: one was Pablo (BG 359, released in 2000 in Haute Savoie, France) and a second one, for sure without rings and therefore identified as Reposoir, BGW 06, the only wild born bird of 2000 (see FASCE, BERGESE & BORNEY, Annual Report 2004, p ). Since summer 2004 the observations of the two individuals became more and more rare and then ceased completely. During winter the territory was not occupied. Pablo, after disappearing from Valle di Rhêmes has been observed in the territory of the pair fixed in Derborence, Valais, Switzerland (identification by means of a photo). VALLE DI COGNE Since winter , a non perfect adult bird (in its fifth winter), identified from the observation of the rings as Georg (BG 355, released in 2000 in Austria), was permanently present in this territory and, since end winter beginning of spring, was often observed together with an immature bird, in its third winter. Since summer 2005 the immature bird was observed only occasionally and since September 2005 also Georg was not anymore observed. MID AOSTA VALLEY Since spring 2004 a non perfect adult bird (probably born in 2000) has fixed in a secondary valley in the middle part of the Aosta Valley. Sometimes it has been observed together with an immature bird, but more frequently alone. It is still present in the territory. Between 1st of October 2004 and 30th of September 2005, 168 cards were collected from the Collecting Centres of National Park Gran Paradiso and Natural Park Mont Avic, referring to at least eight different individuals. * FCBV, Via G. d Annunzio 2/112, I Genova, Italy. ** National Park Gran Paradiso, Loc. Dejoz 11 B, I Valsavarenche (AO), Italy. *** Parco Naturale Monte Avic, Loc. Fabbrica n. 164, I Champdepraz (AO), Italy.

70 70 Monitoring 2005 According to age class, the cards reported observations of: adult or subadult birds (at least four different individuals) - 30 immature birds (at least two different individuals) - 14 birds, whose age was not determined Moreover, 18 cards reported observations of marked birds: Bella Cha (BG 441) and Gilbert (BG 440), both released in 2004 in Haute-Savoie, France. Bella Cha was observed in Valdigne on the 6th and 12th of February; on the 1st, 5th, 9th and 29th of March in Valle di Cogne; on the 22nd of February, 6th, 24th and 25th of March in Valle Orco. Gilbert was observed on the 8th of May, on the 10th, 11th, 14th and 16th of July in valle di Rhêmes; on the 26th of June and 16th of July in Valsavarenche; on the 18th of September in Valdigne. The situation in Natural Park Alpi Marittime and the neighbouring region - Italy by Luca Giraudo*, Laura Martinelli * and Paolo Fasce ** From the 3rd of October 2004 till the 30th of April 2005, 101 days of observation have been spent for the monitoring included in the Project Life Nature "THE BEARDED VULTURE IN THE ALPS : 13 days by FASCE, 17 by the rangers of the Natural Park Alpi Marittime, 71 by LIFE co-operators. At least 10 different birds, whose age has been determined, have been observed: ADULT BIRDS: three + one non perfect adult SUBADULT BIRDS: two YOUNG/IMMATURE BIRDS: four (all marked) The four marked birds were: - Paolo Peila, BG 388, in Valle Maira the 13th of November 2004 and in Valle Gesso the 21st of March Blangiar, BG 433 in Valle Maira, the 18th of December 2004 and the 12th of March 2005; in Valle Stura the 23rd of January 2005; in Valle Grana the13th of March Guillaumes, BG 411 in Valle Maira the 12th of February - Jausiers, BG 413 in Valle Varaita the 18th of March 2005 Another bird, of non determined age, was also observed. STURA VALLEY In this territory, from the end of October 2004 till the end of April 2005, 41 days of observation were made, of which 38 by the rangers and the co-operators of the Park Alpi Marittime and 3 by PAOLO FASCE, FCBV. The territory was occupied from the year 2000 till the winter by a pair, formed by Firmin (BG 229, released in Mercantour, France, in 1995) and Valdieri (BG 268, released in Alpi Marittime, Italy, in 1996). In the past years, in this territory many other Bearded Vultures (immature) were present, often attacked by the two adult birds. The nest was found on the 3rd of February 2002, when it had been already used since some time. During the winter , in the territory was always present also an immature bird, most likely Sereno (BG 348, released in Alpi Marittime in 2000), very linked to the pair, and a non perfect adult * Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime, Piazza Regina Elena n. 30, I Valdieri, Italy. ** FCBV, Via G. d Annunzio 2/112, I Genova, Italy.

71 2005 Monitoring 71 bird, possibly Aisone (BG 304, released in Alpi Marittime in 1998). During the winter , the territory was occupied by a trio, formed by two adult birds and an immature in its third winter (born in 2001) and therefore not the same one of the previous year. In November and December 2003, and till mid January 2004, both adult birds were observed mating on top of the immature bird (the adult being to be considered male and the immature female). In February and till March 2004, the immature was repeatedly observed to mate on top of one of the two adult birds (the immature therefore to be considered male, and the adult female). The adult female chased violently the other adult bird, as soon as the latter tried to land on the nest or was approaching the pair (see FASCE, BERGESE AND BORNEY, Annual Report 2004, p ). During the winter , in the territory an adult bird and a subadult one, in its fourth winter, were present. Even if the evolution of the plumage could induce to consider this immature to be the same of the winter , its sexual behaviour lead to think that a change had taken place. Indeed, during the whole winter, many copulations have been observed: these allowed verifying that the adult bird is a male and the subadult a female. This year, moreover, no change of sexual role was observed. In the territory, in November and December, also a second adult bird was present, which was not anymore observed in the following months. The pair frequented the nest, but did not lay eggs. The adult male present in could be Firmin (BG 229, released in Mercantour, France, in 1995); but no recent observation of the rings has been made. It was not possible to identify the female. At the beginning of winter 2004, another adult bird, not linked to the pair, was observed in the territory for some time. In winter also the other isolated individual, not identified, which was using in winter a territory 5-10 Km apart, to the East of the territory of the pair, has not been observed anymore. VALLE MAIRA From the end of October 2004 till the end of April 2005, 60 days of observation have been made, of which 50 by the rangers and the co-operators of Alpi Marittime Park and 10 by PAOLO FASCE, FCBV. In winter , the territory was occupied by a non perfect adult bird, in its fifth winter (born in 1999) and an immature, likely in its third winter (born in 2001). At the beginning of the winter , an adult and a subadult bird in its fourth winter were present, therefore being likely the same birds of the previous winter. In December 2004 the nest was found, in a cliff exposed to the North, at 1700 m above the sea level. The copulations frequently observed allowed the identification of the adult bird as a male and of the subadult one as a female. In February, a second male bird (non perfect adult) appeared in the territory, mating many times with the female, and showing a dominant attitude towards the adult male. Also this pair did not lay eggs. The identity of the three individuals is unknown: no hypothesis can be formulated about the adult male, whilst the female should be Roure (BG 370, released in Mercantour, France, in 2001) and the non perfect adult male could be Roubion (BG 311, released in Mercantour, France, in 1999).

72 72 Monitoring 2005 NATURAL PARK ALPI MARITTIME Inside the protected area of the Park, 16 observations of an immature bird have been made: it has been identified as Paolo Peila, BG 388, released in 2002 in Alpi Marittime, present in October, December and March. A non perfect adult bird was present from November till April. Paolo Peila apparently comes back periodically to the release site. The second bird could be the one which had frequented the region during Monitoring in Piedmont (Western Alps Observers Network) Report by Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime by Laura Martinelli* & Luca Giraudo* Translated by James Beauchamp Between 03rd of October th of December 2005 the Western Alps Observers Network collected 63 reports of sightings (excluding, therefore the data from the Life project monitoring) divided by area: Province of TURIN 20 sightings Province of CUNEO 35 sightings Province of VERCELLI 2 sightings Département 04 ALPES HAUTE PROVENCE (F) 2 sightings Département 06 ALPES MARITTIMES (F) 4 sightings If we pool the casual observations and those from the Life project (a total of 374 records) we can estimate a minimum number of birds of the following age groups: PROVINCE OF TORINO 1 adult 1 subadult 2 marked immature birds (Sadri BG 415 and Gilbert BG 440) 1 unmarked immature bird 1 marked juvenile (Monaco BG 452 or Blangiàr BG 433) 1 unmarked juvenile PROVINCE OF CUNEO 3 adults 2 subadults 1 unmarked immature bird (Sereno BG 348) 4 marked immature birds (Jausiers BG 413, Blangiàr BG 433, Paolo Peila BG 388, Palanfrè BG 435) 2 marked juveniles (Montecarlo BG 455 and Monaco BG 452) PROVINCE OF VERCELLI 1 adult * Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime, Piazza Regina Elena n. 30, I Valdieri, Italy.

73 2005 Monitoring 73 FRANCE (Italian observers) 3 adults 1 subadult 1 immature bird 1 marked juvenile (possibly Bella Cha BG 441) In the Province of Cuneo most of the casual sightings are from areas where there are more or less sedentary individuals, these areas act as poles of attraction. We have the Stura valley (12 casual observations), the Maira valley (6 casual observations), or adjacent valleys like the Varaita (7 sightings total) and Grana (1 sighting), whilst in the Alpi Marittime Nature Park area, where there are no Bearded Vultures resident, we have 22 reported sightings in the Gesso valley and 3 for the Vermenagna. Both the marked birds released the Mercantour National Park were seen. The reports from the Province of Turin are concentrated in the upper reaches of the Susa (12 sightings ), Chisone (2 sightings) and Troncea (3 sightings) valleys, areas that are frequently visited by Bearded Vultures. A particular observation was made here of a young unmarked bird, consequently born in the wild, one of the first sightings of a bird of this age in the Italian Western Alps. Also of interest the reports from the Pellice valley (2 sightings both of immature birds), the Germanasca valley (1 sighting of Monaco/Blangiàr) and Val Sesia (2 sightings of an adult). On December 3rd, despite the difficulty caused by a recent snow fall, a contemporary observation day was organized. It covered 60 different sites, spread over the whole of the western Alps: thanks to ROBI JANAVEL and his collaborators, to PAOLO FASCE, to the Nature Parks of Alpe Veglia and Devero, Gran Bosco di Salbertrand, Val Troncea, Orsiera Rocciavrè, Alta Valle Pesio and Tanaro, to the Corpo Forestale dello Stato, to the Gran Paradiso and Mercantour, Ecrins and Vanoise National Parks, to Asters and our collaborators, we managed to cover 60 stations. Thanks to this group effort we were able to estimate the direct or indirect presence of birds across the Franco-Italian western Alps. In particular we would like to thank: Alberti L., Audero A., Bellone C., Beraudo P., Bergese F., Bernardi G., Bertelli B., Bevacqua D., Blangetti F., Boeri M., Boetto E., Bompard S., Bottero M., Bourlot M., Brignone G., Brustolon R., Calvetto S., Calvini M., Castelli M., Cirina S., Collet E., Corbezzola R., Cortese L., Corto R., Costanzi A., Dalmasso G., Delpaino F., De Nicolò A., Dogliotti M., Endici G., Faraon S., Favro P., Gaydou F., Gazzola A., Giaccardo G., Giordano M., Giordano O., Giovo M., Giraudo S., Gonin M., Governa F., Gozzi P. e C., Juvenal M., Macario R., Maistri R., Massara P., Merlino C., Monaci S., Nicolazzi G., Pane A., Pascal E., Peraldo C., Pejrone G., Perello G., Qualich A., Quaranta D., Quercia Y., Riba C., Rossetti C., Rossi L. e V., Siviero L., Stefani A., Tabasso E., Tamagnone E., Toffoli R., Traversa P., Trombetta A., Vincenti E., all the coordinators of the Western Alps Observers Network and all the staff of the Piemontese and French protected areas. Western Alps Observers Network: results from the first 13 years by Luca Giraudo* Translated by James Beauchamp INTRODUCTION The Alpi Marittime Nature Park became an active part of the international reintroduction project with the first releases at the Argentera-Mercantour site in On joining the project it picked up the spirit of it and initiated a series of activities to further it in the best possible way, both through raising public awareness as to the importance of the Bearded Vulture in the alpine ecosystem and through implementing monitoring of the species across Piedmont. To reach the goals that had been set a series of priority actions were implemented. First they were aimed at the local population around the Park area, paying particular attention to categories of people who could be contacted and were interested in or able to give notice of Bearded Vultures presence in the Western Alps (ornithologists, walkers, climbers). * Parco Naturale Alpi Marittime, Piazza Regina Elena n. 30, I Valdieri, Italy.

74 74 Monitoring 2005 At the same time a broader campaign began, targeting various age groups of schoolchildren in and around the Park area. Evening lectures for locals and tourists were organized. To reinforce the message merchandising was produced (t-shirts, baseball caps, badges, etc) and distributed at the various events. Every release was published in the local press and when possible in Piemonte Parchi, the regional parks magazine. Festivities open to the public were organized with food, singing, dancing and other fun; to make every release a happy gathering of people. After the publicity phase mentioned above, a data bank was organized to collect all the incoming information, it was shared with the other partners of the project. Every reported sighting undergoes a check as to its reliability before being loaded. In tandem, a news-sheet, GIPETO INFORMA was produced, this later became INFOGIPETO. It has been published twice a year since February 1994, and is now to be published once a year in December; we have reached issue number 24, from being a 2 page news-sheet it now runs to 24 pages with contributions from all over the Alps. You can download a pdf version at web page. Everyone who provides information of a Bearded Vulture sighting, be they an official observer, hill walker, tourist or professional, receives information from the Park and the news-letter Infogipeto, they are also entitled to discount on park merchandise found on sale in the park visitor centres. In recent years they are offered membership of "Amico Parco, an association that offers them the possibility to take part in a series of free activities (excursions and parties etc). On a wider scale, all the regional protected areas were involved, the nature and national Parks, the State Forestry Corps and the piedmontese scientific associations (GPSO) to create the Western Alps Observers Network, a network that allowed bodies and institutions charged with nature protection to gather all the Bearded Vulture sightings from the Western Alps. Today the network has 17 PARTNERS with different responsibilities in different sectors of the Piedmontese and Aostan Alps. - PARCO NATURALE ALPE VEGLIA E ALPE DEVERO - Radames Bionda, Via Castelli, VARZO (VB) Tel. 0324/72572 Fax 0324/ PARCO NAZIONALE VAL GRANDE - Dr. Alessandra Stefani, Coordinamento Territoriale Ambiente, Villa San Remigio VERBANIA Tel. 0323/504297, Fax 0323/ PARCO NATURALE ALTA VALSESIA - Dr. Marilena Carmellino, Dr. Sandro Bergamo, Corso Roma, VARALLO (VC) Tel. e Fax 0163/ PARCO NATURALE MONTE AVIC - Dr. Massimo Bocca, Località Fabbrica, CHAMPDEPRAZ (AO) Tel. 0125/ Fax 0125/ PARCO NAZIONALE GRAN PARADISO - Martino Nicolino, Località Degioz, VALSAVARENCHE (AO) Tel. 0165/ Fax 0165/ GRUPPO PIEMONTESE STUDI ORNITOLOGICI - Guido Cattaneo, Via Mussatti, RIVARA (TO) Tel. 0124/ PARCO NATURALE ORSIERA ROCCIAVRE - Gianfranco Ribetto, Località Pracatinat FENESTRELLE (TO) Tel. e Fax 0121/ PARCO NATURALE ORSIERA ROCCIAVRE - Giuseppe Ferrero, Via S. Rocco,2 - Frazione Foresto BUSSOLENO (TO) Tel. e Fax 0122/49398, Fax 0122/ PARCO NATURALE GRAN BOSCO DI SALBERTRAND - Giuseppe Roux Poignant, Via Monginevro, SALBERTRAND (TO) Tel. e Fax 0122/ PARCO NATURALE VAL TRONCEA - Domenico Rosselli, Silvia Alberti, Via della Pineta - Fraz. Ruà PRAGELATO (TO) Tel. & Fax 0122/ VAL PELLICE - Robi Janavel, Via Bouissa, TORRE PELLICE (TO). - PARCO FLUVIALE DEL PO TRATTO CUNEESE - Paolo Novero, Via Buffa di Perrero, CAVOUR (TO) Tel. e fax 0121/ PARCO NATURALE ALPI MARITTIME - Luca Giraudo, Laura Martinelli, Piazza Regina elena, VALDIERI (CN). Tel. 0171/ Fax 0171/ PARCO NATURALE ALTA VALLE PESIO E TANARO - Mauro Fissore, Franco Delpiano, Franco Bergese, Via S. Anna, CHIUSA PESIO (CN) Tel. 0171/ Fax 0171/ IMPERIESE - Bianchi Franco, Ottonello Mauro, Via G. B. Boeri BADALUCCO (IM) Tel. 0184/ CORPO FORESTALE VALDOSTANO - Dr. Paolo Oreiller, Dr. Domeneghetti, Regione Amèrique QUART (AO) Tel. 0165/ Fax 0165/ CORPO FORESTALE DELLO STATO - Dr. Elio Dotta, Dr. Valerio Cappello, Corso Ferraris, TORINO Tel. 011/ / Fax 011/

75 2005 Monitoring 75 An annual meeting was set up at the park headquarters every December to present the monitoring results, all the collaborators and observers are invited and every zone coordinator has the opportunity to present their data. Over the years this meeting has become an important moment, it is regularly attended by people. The work for the Life Nature "IL GIPETO NELLE ALPi project has maintained its original format with development of the various levels of activity from local to regional, national and international. Its aim remains the exchange of information and group actions to improve our knowledge of the species. After an initial stage we could say that the project has now reached maturity. A growing number of unmarked birds, some already adult, have been settling in our valleys over the last few years. Although it has become easier to see bearded vultures, we are noticing a general drop in reports of occasional sightings, this is partly offset by the systematic gathering of data through planned monitoring by "specialists. RESULTS What tangible results have been attained from these years work? How many people have been involved? How many sightings registered? And how many Bearded Vultures spotted? Since 1993 a total of 2628 sightings have been registered, with an average of 202 observations per year, each of these can be referenced to a specific date or place. They were carried out by 801 people. Of these people 40 can be considered professional naturalists and 10 project co-workers. It should be mentioned that data from the Aosta valley are collected and processed by the Gran Paradiso National Park and Monte Avic N observations per year 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% FIGURE 1. 1 oss/persona 2 oss/persona 3 oss/persona 4 oss/persona FIGURE 2. 5 oss/persona 6 oss/persona 7 oss/persona n sightings per person N= oss/persona 9 oss/persona >10 oss/persona WAON data bank: casual observations per annum N= >20 oss/persona >30 oss/persona >40 oss/persona >50 oss/persona >60 oss/persona >70 oss/persona >80 oss/persona >90 oss/persona >100 oss/persona >150 oss/persona Nature Park, who send them directly to IBM. Casual observations - those coming from people other than protected areas staff, amount to 1296, an average of 99 per year. Most of these sightings are reported by tourists, mountain walkers and some people at work. The average number of sightings per head is 1.7, with 59% of people (350) reporting only one sighting, 16% reporting 2 sightings and only 3% of observers (20 people) reported more than 10 sightings over the 13 years for which data have been collected (FIGURE 1). If we refer to the 1296 casual observations over the course of the years, we can see some peaks. These are due both to sightings due to the recent release (1994) and from outside the area and to particular situations of Bearded Vultures in certain valleys, such as the Susa Valley in On average there are around 100 sightings per year, with a slight drop over the last three years (FIGURE 2). If we consider the data for smaller areas some interesting points emerge; these observations are backed up by the experience of everyday field work.

76 76 Monitoring 2005 FIGURE Alpi Marittime Natural Park: casual observations N= 183 Starting with the release site, taken as the Parco Alpi Marittime territory, we see a tendency that is not immediately 35 obvious (FIGURE 3): we would expect a peak in number of sightings in release 30 years, but this is only true for 1994 and , and partly so for 2000 and 2004, but not for 1996 and 2002 moreover 20 the casual observations for the last 15 five years are well below average which is 14 reports per year. 10 This can be explained partly by a poor 5 0 suitability of the Gesso valley to host Bearded Vultures, to date there have only been two occasions when adult birds have resided in the protected area: Mounier (BG 196) frequented the Terme di Valdieri area in the winter , but was later found dead in 2000 in Mercantour National Park. A subadult frequented the Barra valley between , but is no longer present. Apart from these, there are sightings of birds released in the Barra valley who later come back at times to visit the release site. Evidently there are some anomalies in the data collection, due both to ecological and human factors. The Gesso valley has a large number of visitors; we would expect a high number of sightings. But, why the great number of trekkers and tourists that visit in Gesso valley didn t give us more informations? FIGURE Stura Valley: casual observations N= 274 Another interesting zone is the upper Stura valley, where the first couple to have formed in Piedmont chose to 60 settle, they have yet to breed however. From FIGURE 4, we can see that the 50 observations see-saw until 1999, with 40 peaks in the odd years, due to sightings through the winter of birds 30 released in the Park in the previous year, and drops in the even years, probably due to a reduced presence of Bearded Vultures (assuming a constant observation effort). n obs per annum n obs per annum From 2000 there was an exponential increase, coinciding with the formation of the first couple, identified as Firmin (BG 229) and (perhaps) Valdieri (BG 268). Since then there has been a constant turnover of adult, immature and juvenile birds. However there has been a net drop in casual sightings, contrasted n obs per annum FIGURE 5. Maira Valley: casual observations N = since 2003 by a rise due to data collected for the Life Nature project monitoring. The 2001 peak can be attributed to the novelty for the birdwatching world which, meant a marked increase in the number of people visiting the valley in the hope of seeing the Bearded Vultures saw a drop in numbers of birds present in this valley. The third pole of attraction is the Maira valley, highly suitable for the species: after the initial presence of an immature individual in we see an increase in sightings from (FIGURE 5), when a subadult settles

77 2005 Monitoring 77 and subsequently a pair forms and later a trio. The trio is currently resident, albeit with some changes in the composition. The area has been under constant surveillance as part of the Life Natura project over the last 3 years, however such a wealth of birds (at times there are 4-5 present together, with the arrival of juvenile and immature birds) has not escaped the notice of the casual observers and the number of obervations remains high after As far as the other valleys around Cuneo and in Piedmont in general are concerned, the presence of Bearded Vultures is sporadic. There is a higher frequency in the Susa valley, in Torino s province, which is one of the closest to the French release and breeding site in Haute Savoie and Vanoise. n obs per annum FIGURE Other valleys: sightings per province N=409 As we can see the average of 21 sightings per year in the province of TORINO is disturbed by the figure for 2002 (FIGURE 6), when an immature bird was a regular visitor for several months. The same year in the province of CUNEO there was another immature individual seen often in the Pesio, Ellero and Maudagna valleys. The reports of this bird raised the average to 13 sightings per year for the province. The is also a slight cyclical fluctuation over 5-6 year periods. 0 The other Piedmontese valleys see only a sporadic presence of Bearded Vultures, partly for ecological reasons and partly because of a lack of watchers in loco. Only the Verbano-Cusio-Ossola province had more than 20 sightings over the period How are the sightings distributed? And where do the identifiable Bearded Vultures come from? FIGURE 7. VB 2% AO 3% F 28% Distribution of sightings N = 61 of reported indivuduals (N =35) TO 25% CN 42% CN TO AO VB F As we can see from the graph (FIGURE 7), the sightings of marked birds, that is the current year s young, or immature birds in their first or second winter, mostly come from three administrative areas: the province of Cuneo where 42% of the 35 identified Bearded Vultures were seen, the province of Turin with 25%, and the French départements with 28% (mostly from Italian observers though). The Western Alps Observers Network data bank holds reports of sightings of 35 identified birds, 71% of these refer, as we would expect, to the two release sites in the Argentera Mercantour massif, and to a lesser extent to Haute Savoie (17%) and Engadina (9%) with one sighting of (Jackpot 3) released in the Hohe Tauern and observed in France (FIGURE 8). If we divide up sightings by province we can see (FIGURE 9) that 93% of the birds released in Franco-Italian site were seen in the province of Cuneo, and of 25 individuals only one (Life) came from the Haute Savoie site, whilst in the province of Torino we see more variation in the birds provenance, 39% from the south (Alpi Marittime), 40% of Bearded Vultures from Haute Savoie and 20% from Engadina. The sightings on French soil refer for 61-67% to Bearded Vultures released in the Argentera and Mercantour sites respectively, with the only Austrian bird reported. CN TO

78 78 Monitoring 2005 FIGURE 8. Haute Savoie 17% Provenance of reported bearded vultures N = 35 Engadine 9% Hohe Tauern 3% Argentera 34% Mercantour 37% Argentera Mercantour Haute Savoie Engadine Hohe Tauern CONCLUSION What can we conclude from the analysis of these data? What pointers do they give for future monitoring? Firstly, over the years the importance of occasional sightings from outside the Piedmontese protected areas has become apparent, these sightings have allowed us to pinpoint sites where adults have settled and it is precisely these occasional observations that pick up erratic Bearded Vultures, particularly important outside protected areas, where there is generally less observation. From our data bank we can deduce that there is a high percentage of people (75%) who make one or two sightings at most, they generally do not return to the area to follow up. From other people over the years some useful and reliable collaborators have emerged. Despite not being ornithologists they have given us important information. There is a relatively low percentage of FIGURE 9. Provenance of reported bearded vultures per province N = 61 "specialists, ornithologists and birdwatchers, after the initial interest in the 14 species their curiosity has waned. It is 12 a fact that those most involved over the years are not ornithologists. 10 In all probability those working on this 8 type of project, be they professionals 6 or enthusiasts, prefer to contribute to a structured monitoring project, with a 4 middle to long term objective, in which 2 they can have a role that goes beyond the casual observation. So it s more 0 CN TO AO VB F easy to work with them on monitoring Argentera Mercantour Haute Savoie Engadine Hohe Tauern of settled pairs. Alternatively it may be that some of them prefer the fun side of birdwatching, and once they have seen a Bearded Vulture they lose interest. If we add to this the fact that birdwatching is a minority interest in Italy, and that it is mostly concentrated on the plains and wetlands A tremendous potential resource can be found in environmental and birdwatching organizations, these may have large numbers of members, and with them it would possible to monitor on a broad scale by organizing contemporaries over any size of area. Unfortunately the typically low density of Bearded Vultures does not favour a definite sighting, a point which can discourage even the most passionate birdwatcher after a time. As mentioned above one of the strengths of the monitoring network in Piedmont as it stands, is that it can count on an high number of potential occasional collaborators. This has to be offset against a generally low level of competence, particularly where the determination of the birds age is concerned. Good results are obtained where marked birds are involved but with immature and sub adults there is a certain amount of doubt, even with professional observers, because of a real difficulty in age determination. To motivate and thank the various people who have provided the casual observations over the years, it is fundamental that they should have feedback, so that they can see the value of their contribution and how it fits into an organic finalized project: INFOGIPETO, for example, is a useful instrument and its public should be increased by every means possible. If we consider that 500 copies a year are printed and there are over 3000 downloads of the.pdf format the potential for distribution and limited costs that electronic means offer are apparent.

79 2005 Monitoring 79 It is useful to make occasional observers part of group, for example the association "Amico Parco, this aspect seems to meet with favour and tends to link them all the more to the Park s activities and in particular to the project. The most important factor, however is the human element, both when receiving a reported sighting, in checking it and later when a relationship is established and other expectations come into play. Clearly this aspect has considerable costs in terms of time and resources and the result is not always completely satisfactory. From the moment that the Bearded Vultures settle in an area we have to call on other resources, in light of the possibility of EU funding coming to an end. It is of paramount importance to have a person on the spot who is able to deliver data on the presence of the various birds: often these people exist, they may not have specific competence but plenty of enthusiasm and they feel that the Bearded Vultures are "theirs. They tend to be passionate about them and grow to be competent with time, although at times they risk losing their objectivity regarding field observations. Another resource to be harnessed is that of the birdwatchers community: with this group wide scale monitoring is fairly easy, even though it is not always possible to ask them to spend more than one day in a valley where they won t see any Bearded Vultures for the sake of good monitoring it is fundamental, but not always easy, to keep up observation over a prolonged period. For areas of low density, therefore, it is necessary to trust to occasional observers or where available, reliable locals who are willing to collaborate. Then there are all those for whom naturalistic observation are part of the job the Parks staff, that of the local provincial administration, the State Forestry Corps, the gamekeepers of the hunting reserves. This resource is useful for involvement in occasional monitoring, as a potential source of information on the sporadic presence of Bearded Vultures or in a more structured project. Where there is willingness on the part of the management it is possible to have periodic feedback. On the negative side though, it can be difficult to organize contemporary observations because their goals aren t the same and the monitoring not always agree with their daily work, or because of the relative inflexibility of these groups, like us. If collaboration can be formalised at institutional level this is often the basis for profitable work, but as time goes by there has to be someone on the inside who takes the matter to heart and continues to dedicate time to collecting information. At the end, we are agree with the coordinators of this project, that the Bearded Vulture have allowed to focalized a big human energy, coming from a lot of kind of people and that give a big contribute to reach more and more data on this bird, that have showed to be a good target species, because we can have today unexpected results, respect the public resource spent. To conclude, without thinking to have given an exhaustive picture at this argument, on the basis of the experience acquired and of the data analysis, we could resume a guideline for the our coming years work, as the FCBV and other partners purpose recently: - to keep public opinion high and the attention focussed on Bearded Vultures, both targeting already sensitive groups (environmentalists, mountain-walkers, hunters) and also the public at large, by promoting ad hoc awareness campaigns; - to involve a small group of collaborators in the monitoring of resident individuals and or couples, this means optimising the cost/benefit ratio in the collection of information over the difficult breeding season, particularly outside the protected areas; - to create or implement a network of contacts within the institutions, which by a cascade effect, enables the involvement of people at local level in such a way as to organize a network of observers stretching over the whole of the Alps; - in Bearded Vultures conservation as far reaching as its distribution across the Alps; one that will not stop at the collection of important data, but will also focus the available human resources, in such a way as to really safeguard the Bearded Vultures return to the Alps.

80 80 Monitoring 2005 We would thanks a lot all people and institutions that have worked on Bearded Vultures during these years, without them no words of these could be written, no data could be collected and, of course, no knowledge on Bearded Vulture could be implemented. We hope to have the pleasure to work with them for a long time, and with a lot of new people, at the same time! Pairs and breeding in Haute Savoie 2005 by Marie Zimmerman* BARGY PAIR, BORNE ARAVIS RANGE The pair comprises the female Assignat (BG 111, born in Garenne Zoo, Switzerland), released in 1989 in the Bargy range and the male Balthazar (BG 099, born in Wassenaar Wildlife Breeding Centre, The Netherlands); the male's identity has been confirmed by DNA tests. In fact, until 2004 it was thought that the male was Melchior (BG 101), but Balthazar has probably been at the site from the outset. This year the pair has built a fourth and new nest site in one of the northern cliffs in the Bargy range. The site has good natural protection: steep slopes and avalanche risks prevent access in winter and spring even though Cheneau Rosset actually appears on a cross-country ski map. Access is only possible for top-notch skiers. In the summer, walkers can access the site, but are still limited by the difficult terrain (steep, no path). Old climbing routes exist on this side, but seem to have been forgotten. Because Bargy is north-facing, it is not very attractive for paragliders, which limits traffic. Some fascinating caving discoveries have been made in recent years, attracting cavers. Military winter exercises took place at the foot of the cliffs in the Pellaz valley during the 2004/05 breeding season. After a meeting with the département's military representative, an agreement was reached whereby if the pair nested on the southern side of the chain, the site would be used by the military, but if they nested on the north side, the military would use another location. The fourth nesting site is located at the north end of the Bargy special protection area created in 1998, which is still restricted to 125 ha. There is also a code of conduct for climbers and paragliders. One section of the special protection area was purchased by ASTERS in 2002, subject to an agro-environmental agreement. The cable car to the new Reposoir resort chalet, which is situated in the middle of the pair's territory, was fitted with red flags to make it more visible. The special protected area is due to be extended in The pair settled in They produced their first (unsuccessful) eggs in 1996, and in 1997 hatched the first Bearded Vulture (BGW 01, Phenix Alp Action) since the species disappeared a century earlier. In 2005, the pair produced Bargy (BGW 32), which left the nest on 27 July In early October the young bird was still near the site, but the parents seemed to chase it away. In total, the pair has produced 10 batches of eggs and 6 fledglings between 1997 and 2005 out of the 27 birds hatched in the wild in the Alps. The BARGY PAIR therefore has a breeding success rate of 0.6. HAUT GIFFRE AREA FIZ PAIR Back in 2001, immature birds carried nesting materials to a site in the Fiz chain which is located in the Sixt-Passy Nature Reserve, at 2520m in a very steep, high south-east facing cliff. Climbing routes and caving access could disturb the pair's breeding, but access is only possible in summer from July onwards. In 2004, two adults formed a pair and were observed mating, and a nest was built at the same site. The pair's 2005 mating was probably unsuccessful: winter access is difficult, so we do not know why the breeding attempt failed, but it may be due to the lack of experience of the new Haute Savoie breeding pair. * ASTERS, 278, Avenue de St-Martin, Sallanches, FRANCE.

81 2005 Monitoring 81 SIXT PAIR A Bearded Vulture pair consisting of one adult and one subadult bird was observed in December 2004 carrying branches to a rocky ledge above the village of Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, but the nest site was then not used. The pair did not mate that season. A new nest site was found in May 2005 in the Sixt-Passy Nature Reserve, within 2.5 km of the Fiz site. Base jumpers use the Sales site opposite the nest, despite the Nature Reserve rules, and there is also a helicopter route along the valley for supplies to the refuge. The Sixt-Passy Nature Reserve also contains the high voltage Emosson cable, which has the biggest capacity in Europe. During summer and autumn 2005, Bearded Vultures were observed avoiding collisions with the cables at the last moment and perching on the pylons, which indicates that there is a high risk of accidents or electrocution. The electricity company has been approached, and it appears that technical considerations (the additional weight) prevent visibility being improved for these sections of cable. A new round of negotiations has been launched via the National Birdlife Committee (Comité National Avifaune), bringing together the LPO (French Bird Protection League) and the electricity company. There are also plans to create a special protection area including the Sixt-Passy Nature Reserve in The identity of the birds in the Fiz and Sixt pairs has not been confirmed. In 2004, it was suggested that the FIZ PAIR was Gildo (BG 299) and Phenix Alp Action (BGW 01) and that Republic 11 (BG 288) and Haute-Savoie Mont Blanc (BG 361) made up the Sixt pair. Gildo is a female released in 1998 in Switzerland, and was identified from her rings in 2002, but DNA tests seem to indicate that she is in Derborence in Switzerland. DNA tests also confirmed that Phenix is the male in the PEI- SEY-NANCROIX PAIR in the Vanoise National Park. Genetic testing also identified Republic 11, a female released in Haute Savoie in 1998, using feathers found at the Sixt feather-colouring site. Haute Savoie Mont Blanc, a male released in 2000 in Haute Savoie, has been regularly identified in Haut Giffre and Doran. In 2005, sightings of his rings confirmed that he was at Sales and Ayères in June and September. Visits in autumn 2005 identified at least three different birds at Haut Giffre. IS THERE ANOTHER PAIR IN THE DORAN AREA? Since 2003, synchronised flights have been seen at the Doran release site. A nest was built in a niche in the Bella Cha rock face in 2004, and the pair was seen building a new nest site in June 2005 at the Tours d'areu. The question is whether this is the Sixt pair or a fourth Haute Savoie pair. Georg (BG 355), a male released in Austria in 2000, has been seen in the area since June 2004 and was spotted at Doran in summer BREEDING 2006 The BARGY PAIR has been rebuilding nest site 3. On 5 October 2005 one of the FIZ PAIR was seen carrying a branch to the nest site, and the pair has also been sighted there. A new nest site for the DORAN PAIR was identified by the observer network in November 2005 on the same north-east sector of the Pointe d'areu at the level of the Saix passage. Adult bird carrying a branch in Sixt-Passy Nature Reserve Photo: Jules Heuret, ASTERS, France

82 82 Monitoring 2005 Review of Bearded Vulture breeding 2005 in Vanoise and origin of marked Bearded Vultures observed in this massif between 1990 and 2005 by Sandrine Berthillot*, Jean-François Dalix* & Jean-Pierre Martinot* Three nesting sites are currently occupied in Vanoise: VAL D ISÈRE, TERMIGNON and PEISEY-NANCRO- IX. In VAL D ISÈRE site, the couple (trio in the beginning), of which the first attempt of reproduction goes back to 1998, settled in 2005 in the same area. The breeding was again early, since the hatching took place on 25th of February and first flight on 21st of June at 1:30 pm. The TERMIGNON couple built a third nest and its beginning reproduction is registered 10 days after that of Val d Isère. The date of hatching was noted on 3rd of March and the take-off of the young on 1st of July at 1: 25 pm. After a failure in 2004, the new couple settled in PEISEY-NANCROIX and reproduced for the first time successfully. A great time difference is observed with the two other couples since the hatching took place at the end of March and the young flew away on 5th of August at 7: 30 am (127 days after hatching). Thus in 2005, there are three fledglings: "Nuage" (BGW 26) at Val d Isère, "Notre ami" (BGW 27) at Termignon and "Peisyllon" (BGW 31) at Peisey-Nancroix (these names were allotted by children of the local schools). Over 14 years of reproduction in Vanoise, we count seven young which fledged, i. e. a reproduction success of 50 %. According to the sites, the dates of hatching and of fledging are more or less late: we note, between 2002 and 2005, a 13 days shift in Val d Isère and a 21 days shift in Termignon. In 2004 and 2005, we note the same dates of hatching and fledging in Termignon! At Peisey- Nancroix, which is only one year under review: hatching and fledging of the young have been late (take-off at 127 days). Concerning five of the seven takes-off, the schedules were observed directly, with important variations, covering 6:10 am to 2:15 pm. Thanks to the genetic analyses, carried out by BARBARA HEFTI - GAUTSCHI in January 2005, the origin of certain individuals of the reproductive couples could be specified. - In VAL D ISÈRE, the identities of the male, "Republic 3" (BG 166; born on 21st of February 1992 and released in Bargy, F) and of the female, wounded on 19th of May 2005, "Marie-Antoinette" (BG 115, born on 27th of February 1989, released in Bargy, F) were already known, that of the female of the current couple remains unknown. - In TERMIGNON, the male would be "Stelvio" (BGW 02, born in the wild on 08th of April 1998 in Bormio, I) and the female "Gelas" (BG 279, bornon 04th of March 1997 and released in Mercantour, F). - In PEISEY-NANCROIX, the male would be "Phoenix Alps Action" (BGW01, born in the wild on 12th of April 1997 in Bargy, F). The identity of the female is remaining unspecified. In addition, among the 137 birds released between 1986 and 2005 on the various sites of the Alpine arc, 48 (35 %) were observed in the National Park of Vanoise, between 1990 and 2005 (observations taken into account until September 2005). Of these 48 marked Bearded Vultures observed in the National Park of Vanoise, 24 (50%) came from Haute-Savoie (F), 16 (33.3%) of Mercantour (F)/Alpi Maritime (I), 5 (10.4%) of Engadine (CH)/Stelvio (I) and 3 (6.3%) of Nationalpark Hohe Tauern (A). * Parc national de la Vanoise, 135 rue du Dr Julliand, BP 705, CHAMBERY CEDEX, France.

83 2005 Monitoring 83 With respect to the proportion of the birds released in each site and observed in Vanoise: - of 39 birds released since 1987 in Haute-Savoie (F), 24 (61.5%) were observed in Vanoise - of 27 birds released since 1993 in Mercantour (F)/Alpi Maritime (I), 16 (60%) were observed in Vanoise - of 30 birds released since 1991 in Engadine (CH)/Stelvio (I), five (17%) were observed in Vanoise - and finally, of the 41 birds released since 1986 in Nationalpark Hohe Tauern (A), three (7.5%) were observed in Vanoise. In fact, the same percentage of birds observed in Vanoise compared to the number of individuals released in Mercantour and in Haute-Savoie, which tends to show that a distance of 50 or 150 km is not significant on the dispersion of immature individuals. The situation of Bearded Vultures in Parc national des Écrins (IBM 24) by Christian Couloumy * LOCALISATION The observation zone "IBM 24" is situated in the French Alps, between Vanoise in the north, Mercantour in the south and Italy in the east. The area covers three departements: la Drôme, l Isère and the Hautes-Alpes, a total of km 2. The area is characterized by the high alpine massives "des Ecrins" and in decending order Queyras, Dévoluy, sud Vercors, Briançonnais, Belledonne, Grandes Rousses...). OBSERVER NETWORK More than 300 volunteering observers contribute to the data base. RESULTS The first Bearded Vulture was observed in May Since then between four and approximately 200 observations could be made in Parc national des Ecrins every year. Between 2001 and 2003, one adult bird was regularly seen in the area of Queyras followed by an adult frequently seen in the south of the national park. Another individual is regularly observed west of the massif des Écrins. About 20 different birds could be identified. Some of them have been documented by pictures. In the end of November 2005, an adult bird was present in the south of the massif Embrunais, which may point to the establishment of a territory but pair formation could not be noted so far. * Parc national des Ecrins, Maison du Parc, Châteauroux-les-Alpes, France.

84 84 Monitoring 2005 Terminology of population data and reproductive parameters by Paolo and Laura Fasce* & Richard Zink ** Studying a raptor population, the most difficult thing is to establish how many pairs are really reproductive pairs, considering that the occupation of a territory is not necessarily synonymous of reproduction. To state a limit among "occupied territory and "territorial pair without reproduction is very important, because on this evaluation depends the calculation of the most important and studied parameters of demography, that is productivity and breeding success. In addition to the objective difficulty, some times prohibitive in some alpine regions, and the risk of disturbance to check if effectively a pair has laid eggs (the datum which is the ground to calculate the breeding success), it is above all the sensitivity of the observer, which, on the contrary, decides subjectively whether a territory is occupied in permanent o temporary way (the factor on which calculation of productivity is based). This kind of evaluation is subjective and therefore, from scientific point of view, "dangerous. In the case of the Bearded Vulture, moreover, the population is expanding, and the risk to evaluate in the wrong way the occupancy of a territory even higher, with the consequent possibility to calculate productivity by defect or by excess. If this difficulty is then added to confusion in exposing data or in using the correct terminology, the risk becomes actual to compare different populations on the basis of possibly strongly distorted values. Already in 1980 G. CHEYLAN (Rapaces Méditerranéens, 1980, Evisa, Corse) recommended to standardize the terminology, concerning data and parameters, and to always present in scientific publications, together with the calculated values, also the data. We think useful to illustrate herewith the most commonly used data and parameters, with their definition. POPULATION DATA A: TERRITORY: This definition, for pairs newly established, is a debated matter: we propose to define as "territory an area permanently occupied by a pair. B: TERRITORIAL PAIR: pair (or trio) occupying a territory in permanent way C: CHECKED PAIR: pair checked during breeding season (in the Alps from October till August) D: BROODING PAIR: pair having laid eggs E: PAIR WITH HATCHING SUCCESS: pair with at least one young born F: SUCCESSFUL PAIR: pair whose young has fledged G: FLEDGED YOUNG (fledgling). As for the Bearded Vulture, this value is identical to the previous one, because in the wild they always have one only young fledged. We preferred to maintain this definition, which is frequently used in calculating reproductive parameters also for other species, and even if repetitive, for a better explanation and uniformity. Moreover, it is a rigori on the ground of this datum that productivity and breeding success are calculated. REPRODUCTIVE PARAMETERS PRODUCTIVITY (G/C): number of fledged young/checked pairs BREEDING SUCCESS (G/D): number of fledged young/brooding pairs PERCENTAGE OF BROODING PAIRS (D/C): percentage of brooding pairs/checked pairs PERCENTAGE OF SUCCESSFUL PAIRS (F/D): percentage of successful pairs/brooding pairs. * FCBV, Via G. d Annunzio 2/112, I Genova, Italy. ** International Bearded Vulture Monitoring - Nationalpark Hohe Tauern/EGS Austria; c/o Richard Zink, Neuwiesgasse 17, A-1140 Wien, Austria.

85 2005 Monitoring 85 It is possible to calculate many other interesting parameters, but collecting the data, needed for this purpose, in the wild is difficult, or too dangerous for the species: they have therefore been excluded from this short presentation. Population data and reproductive parameters for the Alpine population from 1996 till 2005 are summarized in TABLE N CHECKED PAIRS N PAIRS WHICH LAID EGGS N FLEDGED YOUNG TOTAL AS FROM 1996 CHECKED PAIRS PAIRS WHICH LAID EGGS FLEDGED YOUNG ANNUAL PRODUCTIVITY = N JUV./ CHECKED PAIRS ANNUAL BREEDING SUCCESS= N JUV./P. WHICH LAID EGGS TOTAL FROM 1996 MEAN PRODUCTIVITY MEAN BREEDING SUCCESS "MONITORING an Evaluation Tool to Determine Reintroduction Success by Richard Zink * In the reintroduction project we rely on direct observation to gain information about distribution, survival and reproduction success of Bearded Vultures since more than 10 years. Whereas a few observers collected observations at- and around the release site (in the beginning of the project) we soon realized that a monitoring network was needed to follow birds after they start to disperse. Even though the local monitoring systems slightly differ in the Alps (e.g. in the composition of observers) we were able to establish a homogenous system in general. Observation data are stored in a central data base (in Austria) allowing local managers to check the actual position of every identified bird all over the Alps. Additionally we implemented an interactive internet tool to view data of each individual on a satellite map (see Actually our data base hosts more than observation data. Today we obtain approximately 2500 observations a year, which is about 7 observations per day. Furthermore we collected information of 25 territories and of 44 nests. Compared with other monitoring systems such as radio tracking the five most important advantages of our system shall be summarized here: * International Bearded Vulture Monitoring - Nationalpark Hohe Tauern/EGS Austria; c/o Richard Zink, Neuwiesgasse 17, A-1140 Wien, Austria.

86 86 Monitoring We are able to monitor a huge number of individuals at the same time and at low cost (one satellite transmitter costs about Euro the Argos system might be even more expansive on the long term). - Enforcing our monitoring system by public awareness means general environmental education at the same time. - Having a network of observers it is much more likely to get information about pair formation, nest building or breeding sites. - Our monitoring covers birds of all age classes, whereas the life span of transmitters is limited and thus information can be gained only for a certain age fraction. - Furthermore we avoid additional risk for the endangered species since we do not need to recapture older birds to equip this age class. Nevertheless our system may improved using other monitoring systems such as genetic analyses of feathers found in nature or - especially in case we want to get more information about the habitat use of adult birds satellite telemetry. Often the efficiency of our monitoring system has been matter of discussion. To make things more transparent a short overview on preliminary analyzing results should be given here. 7% 3% 49% Figure 1: Number of observations (birds surely identified) for each bird considering successfully fledged birds only (n = 120). 15% 26% As a main message of the results shown in FIGURE 1 we might say that 51% of birds could be identified more than 50 times. Note the high sample of 120 birds! The mean number of observations collected for every bird is 97 however there is a huge difference between individuals (SD = 164). A question of exceptional importance is the time birds can be followed individually (birds loose there wing marks after 2.5 years). FIGURE 2 shows that at least one third of birds could be followed more than 3 years. The mean duration of follow up was 41 months (SD = 45). Considering that the life time of satellite transmitters varies between some months and a maximum of two years (note that 15% 13% 8% Figure 2: Duration of follow up in months for each bird considering successfully fledged birds only (n = 120). 11% 8% 12% 33% >36

87 2005 Monitoring 87 a malfunction in satellite transmitters is common in 50% of applications) the fraction of birds followed is even bigger. About 54% of birds released (proportion most probably independent from number released) could be followed for more than 2 years. 8% 54% Figure 3: Number of observations (surely identified) per bird and year (nobs = , nbird = 120). 13% 25% >100 In average we collected 47 observations for each bird and year. This includes also the period after the first moulting cycle (no wing marks!). It is astonishing that nearly three quarter of birds could be identified more than once a month which definitely is enough to say something about survival and to roughly get an idea about their dispersal routes. In order to get an idea about the quality of our monitoring system we should put the number of observations per bird and period of follow in perspective to the age of birds. Thus it could be proven that we attained monitoring quality by the implementation of the International Bearded vulture Monitoring (IBM) in the year In summary it can be said our monitoring network assures the evaluation of reintroduction success on a broad spectrum. There is no monitoring system that might replace our network, however we should steadily try to improve the observer network. Other methods such as genetic analyses of feathers have well completed our knowledge and urgently should be included more intensively in the over all monitoring concept. ALPINE MONITORING: effects of release site and natural reproduction on species distribution and population growth by Richard Zink * 1. MATERIAL AND METHODS Up to now 137 Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) have been released in the Alps. Observation data of Bearded Vultures have been collected since 1986 (n = , July 14th 2005). This sample includes both observations of identified and unidentified birds. For analyses of dispersal only observations which could be related to certain birds were used (nobs=11.964). Settling or territoriality was defined if at least one adult bird remained resident (e.g. sleeping places) for more than a year or nest building was observed. 2. RESULTS 2.1 HOW FAR DID BIRDS DISPERSE FROM THE RELEASE AREAS? Usually in late autumn Bearded Vultures undertake their first long distance flights (>100km). For the birds this exploration phase is of high relevance as far as concerns orientation, habitat selection and pairing. To answer the question how far released birds disperse only observations which could be * International Bearded Vulture Monitoring - Nationalpark Hohe Tauern/EGS Austria; c/o Richard Zink, Neuwiesgasse 17, A-1140 Wien, Austria.

88 88 Monitoring 2005 related to certain birds were used. This sample was divided regarding the original release area of birds into four sub-samples (south-western, north-western, north-eastern and eastern Alps). The distance from the release site to each observation site was plotted for each release area (FIGURE 1 a-d). Due to the lack of observers the dispersal in south-eastern direction (the Balkan region belongs to the historical distribution range of the species) might be underestimated. A B Figure 1a-d: Dispersal of birds originating form release area (a) E-Alps, (b) NE-Alps, (c) NW-Alps and (d) SW-Alps. C D 2.2 AT WHICH DISTANCE DO THEY SETTLE? Considering the hypothesis of philopatry, birds should return for reproduction purpose and settle in their former release area while becoming mature. Further more the distance at which birds settle and become territorial might be an indicator for the habitat suitability of release sites. Here I present some preliminary results that might give us a glue about the importance of different release sites for population strengthening. To figure this out information of pairs or solitary territorial birds have been used (n=30). This number includes also adult birds that have been territorial in an area for several years and died in the mean time. To measure the distance from release site the nest, main sleeping place or place of death have been used.

89 2005 Monitoring 89 FIGURE 2. Dispersal between territory and original release site of 30 settled Bearded Vultures. 2.3 PROPORTION OF BIRDS THAT SURVIVED AND SETTLED DEPENDING ON THE AREA OF RELEASE A question of great importance is how many birds survived and if there are differences of survival depending on the area of release. However since there is only a comparatively small number of individuals which we can consider to be territorial or settled the results presented have to be considered preliminary as well. Using again the sample of settled birds (see 2.3) the number has been compared with the total number of released birds in each of the release areas. This percentages are compared in FIGURE 3. FIGURE 3. Proportion of birds settled depending on the amount of individuals release for each of the release areas.

90 90 Monitoring HOW WILD OFFSPRING INFLUENCES POPULATION GROWTH To answer the question how long to continue with release the evolution of growth rates has to be considered first. In FIGURE 4 the linear trend of released birds (a) shows a steadily but not to strong inclination. This suggests that population input becomes more and more effective over time. However, since 1997 the population additionally gained birds born in the wild annually. In average the number of wild offspring increased since then. The total trend (b) therefore shows a much stronger incline the population input thus autonomously increases. This surplus increase corresponds with the area between the to trend lines. In the year 2005 the population input equals 15 birds. FIGURE 4 Annual number of individuals released, wild born and total as a basis for population growth. 2.5 AMOUNT OF WILD BORN OFFSPRING TO ACHIEVE A SELF-SUSTAINING POPULATION Continuing to follow this approach, as a consequence, the main question has to be: How much natural reproduction do we need to become in depended of release activities? To answer that priory we have to check the average number of effective population inputs since the start of the project. Considering only birds alive six weeks after fledging the average then is 6.5 birds a year. This amount was enough to achieve a continuously increasing population. Accordingly we might expect a continuous population growth as soon as we reach a reproduction rate of 6.5 birds a year. However, this approach is rather theoretical. It should be noted that the number of 6.5 birds is a minimum and a long lasting average. The linear trend of reproduction success has a stability index of only r_=0,6 up until now. Therefore it can be said that release activities should not be stopped before the year Furthermore this calculation is true only if the rate of reproduction success continues to increase. 3. DISCUSSION Several aspects are crucial for successful reintroduction. The dispersal pattern of released birds show huge differences depending on the location of their release area. Individuals released at more central sites in the Alps tend to disperse less. This could be simply the case because more marginal release sites can be left only in one direction. However the results may also suggest that the inner alpine areas more easily attract birds. This is especially the case in the area of Vanoise/Gran Paradiso - and in the Stelvio National Park. In both areas the density of ibex (Capra ibex) is exceptional high. Ibex has turned out to be very important as potential "prey species. This is true predominately in winter time (reproductive time) when domestic life stock is unavailable as food source.

91 2005 Monitoring 91 FIGURE 5. Hypothetical approach to identify the moment when the Alpine population becomes independent from further release activities. It could be shown that dispersal distances from the release area differ also if considering settled mature birds exclusively. The distances between original release site and the place where they settle for nest building and reproduction is biggest in the eastern Alps, intermediate in the central Alps and very small in the Maritimes Alps. The huge distances from the Austrian release site might indicate a lack of suitability for reproduction purpose. However several historical breeding sites are proven for the Austrian Alps as well and the sample (n=1) is too small to evaluate the result. The very small distances in the Maritimes Alps could be explained by high habitat suitability. Nevertheless it should be noted that the sample size (n = 4) is very small either. In general the sample size of settled birds is biggest in the central Alps. This might be a hint for higher survival rates of adult birds in these areas. Considering the proportion of birds that settled related to the number of total released individuals for each of the release areas it could be shown that the proportion of successful released birds (in terms of settled/territorial birds) was much smaller in the two marginal areas (Maritimes Alps 15% and Austria 10%) compared with the more central sites (>30%). This result strongly suggests that release activities are more successful in the central Alps. However the result might be even more influenced by local suitability circumstances and differences in the efficiency of monitoring activities can not be excluded as an explanation. One of the most challenging topics is to answer the question how long to continue with release. In this article I tried to give an overview on rate of population input by birds released and wild born. It could be shown that the effective population input extremely profits by natural reproduction. The rather hypothetical approach to identify the date when the proportion of released birds is substituted by that of wild born offspring may give us an idea about the needs of release in the future. Even though the above presented results can not answer all question they might be of help in case we want to answer how long and where to continue with release in the Alps. In wide ranging species such as the bearded vulture the study has to be understood in its entireness. In any case monitoring of released individuals by direct observation has turned out to be essential to measure project success on the long term. 4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am grateful to work within an unique network of collaboration. Thanks to Frankfurt Zoological Society, the zoos participating in the European Breeding Programme and to the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture. Special thanks to the numerous partner institutions that have collected observation data: A.S.T.E.R.S (F), Parco delle Alpi Marittime - Rete Osservatori Alpi Occidentali (I), Nationalpark Hohe Tauern (A), Parc National les Ecrins (F), Parc National du Mercantour (F), Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio (I), Parc National de la Vanoise (F), Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso (I), Provincia Autonoma di Trento - Servizio Foreste e Fauna (I) and Stiftung Pro Bartgeier (CH).

92 92 Autochthonous Populations 2005 Bearded Vultures in the French Pyrenees - Results of the Monitoring of 2005 by Martine Razin * The monitoring of Bearded Vultures in the northern side of the Pyrenees is realized by a net of partners since 1994, the red "Casseur d os composed by the associations SAIAK, NMP, GOR, LPO, ANA, OCL, NC; by the Pyrenean national park and the Catalan natural reserves; by the ONCFS and the ONF; by 3 federation of hunters (3 departments); and by one association of shepherds. This programme coordinated by the LPO is supported by the MEED (Environment ministry), the UE and the territorial collectivises of the French Pyrenees. DISTRIBUTION, EFFECTIVES AND STATUS OF THE PAIRS AND SETTLED MARKED BIRDS Since 2002, the distribution area of the territorial pairs comprises more or less all the northern slope of the Pyrenees. This area is in expansion to the East (a new territory is to be occupied at the extreme East) and in regression to the West where the more occidental territory is abandoned since In 2005, 25 pairs/trios were censed on the French slope (23 pairs and two trios) and two of them without any precise location in the department of Ariège (two uncontrolled pairs). 23 pairs/trios were controlled (located and sighted): one is a new pair (no breeding pair) based in the central Pyrenees on a territory unoccupied since 2002 (date of disappearing of one of the local adult and of the dislocation of the pair) and 22 couples can be considered as breeding pairs because they lay down habitually (they bred in ) and the majority (18) of them are located on the half western part of the massif. Four future «pairs» are standing out; they are composed of two or more adults and/or imperfect adults, still quite mobile and not completely mated (when a copulation is observed, the entity is considered as a formed pair and is censed). Four Bearded Vultures marked in Aragon (SP) are present on the northern slope: three females (Chusica, Lea, Jara), of which the native place is unknown because they were marked at 4 or 5 years old in Spain on feeding places and one male (Nayim, 11 years old) who is not yet completely fixed. BREEDING SEASON 2005 Out of the 23 controlled pairs, two pairs did not lay and the data for another pair are uncertain: - The new pair 2006, composed by a male and a marked female of 7 years. - A pair which laid in 2004 but its breeding place was completely colonized in 2005 by Griffon Vultures in spatial expansion in this part of the massif. - One pair which is usually breeding but it was not possible to control the nest place in February and the pair did not breed or stopped to breed in March. At least 20 pairs produced a clutch. 11 clutches where checked but two young died during the two weeks following the clutch. Nine young fledged: seven in the occidental half of the massif and two in the oriental half. Productivity is about 0.4 YOUNG FLEDGED / CONTROLLED PAIR (0.39 for the total productivity, 0.41 for the productivity of the breeding pairs). Breeding success is 0.45 YOUNG / LAYING PAIRS. * M.Razin. LPO Coordination Casseur d os., 170 chemin Ximikorenborda F Ahetze, France.

93 2005 Autochthonous Populations 93 The winter meteorological conditions ( ) were particularly hard and these results are not so bad for the Pyrenean northern slope. EVOLUTION OF TERRITORIAL POPULATION AND BREEDING PARAMETERS During the last ten years ( ), the territorial population increased regularly, in spite of a recessive period in 2002; effectives pass from 18 pairs/trios to 25. One new pair / year stationed on average on the northern slope of the Pyrenees since 10 years but several pairs were broken during the same period (in 1998 and 2002). The number of double laying rose from 10 to 20 ( ); since 2000 every year replacement clutches (1-3) are observed when the first breeding attempt had failed. The annual number of young fledged is slowly increasing; this number does not fall short of five young per year during the last five years. The breeding parameters became stable and seem to show a light increasing (FIGURE 1). This trend can by explained mainly by two no exclusives hypotheses: - The new pairs settled down during the past 10 years in the oriental half of the massif (thanks to the feeding places) show actually a higher productivity than the occidental pairs and increase this value for the Pyrenean French side. - The productivity of several pairs, in particular in the department of Hautes-Pyrénées, seems to profit of the conservation measures (reduction of human activities on breeding places, feeding places, education, etc.). Breeding parameters Bearded Vultures / French Pyrenees ( ) FIGURE 1. Upper line: BREEDING SUCCESS, below line: PRODUCTIVITY. 1,2 1 0,8 0,6 0,4 B 0,2 0 Breeding success Productivity Polynomisch (Productivity) YOUNG POPULATION Since 10 years, an important operation of evaluation of the effectives and trend of the pre-adult population is realised. It is based on two operations: - An annual census made simultaneously during four to six days in the both sides of the massif by Spanish, Andorran and French ornithologists. The points of observation concerns in particular the feeding places where a high proportion of young birds is concentrated in winter. - A program of ringing, marking and telemetry (all birds are marked by the FCQ, essentially in Aragon at feeding places and at the nest) and on the monitoring of the marked bird (on which we are implicated).

94 94 Autochthonous Populations 2005 The census show that the proportion of young Bearded vultures present on the French slope in winter is very low (+ 5% of the total, estimated for all the Pyrenees). The young Bearded Vultures prefer to spend the winter on the Spanish slope, which are less snowy, in particular in Aragon in the centre of the massif. In summer, the situation seems different because the observations of young birds on French slopes are much more frequent, in particular around protected areas. All the results of the census and observations of marked birds are compiled by the FCQ (Aragon - S), in charge of a demographical study on the Pyrenean population. In 2002, the biologist R. ANTOR (Aragon) had estimated the Pyrenean population of young Bearded Vultures to young (= no adult); it represents + 50% of the total. Among these young, the subadult birds (3-6 years) which are more mobile, would show the lower survival rate, in comparison to the young birds (< 3 years) or adults (> 6 years). The feeding places which are very attractive for the young birds reduce the risks of mortality linked to their erratic behaviour and the survival rate of the young birds would be "artificially high: numerous young spend the winter near to the Spanish feeding places, created in this aim to increase the population. Actually we wait for the results and publication of the Pyrenean demographical study. MORTALITY Two Bearded vultures were discovered dead in July 2005 in the French Pyrenees, at the same place, near a lake at 2000 m of altitude. The only activities at this place are fishing, trekking and shepherding. One of these Bearded Vultures was a marked five years old female named Paquita. A fisherman discovered the two birds and alarmed the environmental rangers. The carcass of Paquita was fresh and showed symptoms of intoxication but for the moment the poison is not determined. The Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) Population in the Spanish Pyrenees in 2005 Parameters and reproductive results by Rafael Heredia * STUDY AREA AND METHODS The population under study lives on the southern side of the Pyrennes and comprises three subpopulations: those in the PYRENNES, PYRENEAN FOOTHILLS and PERIPHERICAL SIERRAS. Together, they cover large areas of ARAGÓN, CATALONIA, NAVARRE and BASQUE COUNTRY regions. The total area of the species distibution in Spain comprises about km 2 and is rectangular shaped, the sides are approximately 360 km long and 90 wide. Population density was determined in the same way as in other large cliff breeding raptor species. Nest sites of breeding pairs were checked in the period of courtship and nest building, as well as during the development of juveniles up to their first flight. If data obtained proved to be insufficient, the pair was taken down as not checked. Breeding pairs were considered as such only when they had at least built a nest and had laid eggs. Territories where copulation and nest building had been recorded, but where no eggs were known to have been laid, were still considered only as territories. * Tecnical Advisor for the Ministry of Environement and Coordinator of the Bearded Vulture Spanish Conservation Project. Camino del Tunel Gijón (Spain).

95 2005 Autochthonous Populations 95 PARAMETERS OF REPRODUCTION Parameters of production (CHEYLAN 1981) were determined as follows: PARAMETERS OF POPULATION Number of known pairs (territories): Number of breeding pairs: Number of controlled pairs: Number of nesting pairs: Number of successful pairs: Number of fledged juveniles: number of occupied territories regardless whether the occupying pair consisted of pairs, trios, adult plus subadult, area occupied at least by one bird more than 4 yrs. old, reproducing birds or not. number of breeding pairs regardless whether breeding was successful or not but where eggs were known to have been laid. number of pairs of which the breeding performance was checked thereby yielding on reproduction.. number of pairs that laid eggs or gave strong indications of having done so. those pairs having successfully reared a young bird. number of young known to have fledged successfully. PARAMETERS OF THE PAIRS Productivity: Breeding success: Proportion of breeding pairs: number of fledged young/number of controlled pairs. number of fledged young/number of nesting pairs. identified breeding pair/identified territorial pair. Table 1. Overview on the population in the Spanish Pyrenees in 2005 SPANISH PYRENEES 2005 Number of occupied territories 102 (ARAGON: 63; CATALONIA: 32; NAVARRA: 7) Number of breeding territories 89 (ARAGON: 67%; CATALONIA: 27%; NAVARRA: 6%) Number of controlled reproducing units 84 (94%): ARAGON: 55; CATALONIA: 24; NAVARRA: 5 Number of nesting pairs 56 (pairs that had laid eggs) Number of fledglings 36 (ARAGON: 22; CATALONIA: 13; NAVARRA: 1) Productivity (controlled reproducing units) /84 young/contolled pair/year Productivity (total breeding units) /89 young/reproducing unit/year Breeding success /56 young/nesting pair/year Table 2. Comparison of the years 2003 to Territory * Territorial Pair ** Identified Territorial Pair *** Identified Breeding Pair **** Fledglings Productivity (flegdlings/identified territorial pairs) Breeding success (flegdlings/identified territorial pairs) Breeding success 84 76? ? % * area occupied by an individual/pair/trio/quartet with at least one bird more than 4yrs. old. ** territory with an historical reproductive unit (the resident unit had bred once but not necessarily in the period 2003 to *** pairs with identified result in 2004, 2004 and 2005 (named: CONTROLLED PAIR). **** egglaying verified (in 2003 and 2004 we don t know the the total number of breeding pairs, we only know the total number of fledglings).

96 96 Autochthonous Populations 2005 Table 3. Results by autonomous regions 2005 REGION BREEDING PAIRS CONTROLLED PAIRS LAYINGS FLEDGLINGS PRODUCTIVITY BREEDING SUCCESS Aragón Cataluña Navarra TOTAL Table 2: Estimation of the number of individuals present in the Pyrenees in 2005 SPAIN FRANCE ANDORRA PYRENEES adults immatures 200 TOTAL 482 N IMMATURES: R. ANTOR, 2003 (UNPUBLISHED REPORT) FRANCE: M. RAZIN (LPO/FIR. COORDINATOR CASSEUR D OS ANDORRA: J. DALMAU (PACT) MORTALITY AND ACCIDENTS Table 4. Summary of mortality in the Spanish Pyrenees. PERIOD: POISON SHOT POWER LINE OTHERS * UNKNOWN WITHOUT ANALYZE TOTAL: 46 43% 15% 24% 9% 7% 2% * OTHERS: 1 PREDATION, 1 CONSPECIFIC INTERACTION, 1 CHICK FALLEN FROM THE NEST, 1 LEG AMPUTATED. Mortality of Bearded Vultures in the Spanish Pyrenees Poison 43% power line 24% 9% 2% 7% 43% shot 15% 15% others* 9% 24% without analyses 2% Figure 1. Causes of mortality of Bearded Vultures in the Spanish Pyrenees. (OTHERS are predation, conspecific interaction, fallen down from the eyrie, amputated leg). unknown despite analyses 7%

97 2005 Autochthonous Populations 97 Development of the number of Bearded Vulture territories and breeding pairs in the Spanish Pyrenees Figure 2. Development of the number of Bearded Vulture territories and breeding pairs in the Spanish Pyrenees from 1986 to Territories Reproducing pairs Evolution of Bearded Vulture Productivity in the Spanish Pyrenees Figure 3. Evolution of the Bearded Vulture productivity in the Spanish Pyrenees from 1984 to ,9 0,8 0,7 0,6 0,5 0,4 0,3 0,2 0, Productivity SOURCES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Ministerio de Medio Ambiente (Dirección General para la Biodiversidad). ARAGÓN: Gobierno de Aragón (GA) Servicio de Conservación de la Biodiversidad. CATALUÑA: Departamento de Medi Ambient de la Generalitat de Catalunya. NAVARRA: Departamento de Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de Navarra. PAÍS VASCO: Departamento de Medio Ambiente. Diputaciones Forales de Álava y Guipúzcoa. LABORATORIO FORENSE DE VIDA SILVESTRE (LFVS): DR. MAURO HERNANDEZ COMPILER: RAFAEL HEREDIA. Asesoría técnica para el Quebrantahuesos (Ministerio de Medio Ambiente)

98 98 Autochthonous Populations 2005 Three Years of Bearded Vultures Surveys in Morocco by Alfonso Godino*, José Luís Paz*, Nourdine Mouati** & Miguel Ángel Simón* 1. INTRODUCTION The Bearded vulture was very common in all mountain ranges of Morocco, from Rif to Anti-Atlas Mountains, even in some mountains next to the Sahara desert until the beginning of XX century (HEIM DE BALZAC & MAYAUD, 1962; BERGIER, 1987), but from then to the end of this century, the Bearded vulture has disappeared from most of these areas. The first estimation of the Bearded vulture in Morocco was 100 breeding pairs in 1980 (THÈVENOT et al., 1985) but this estimate was very optimistic and a second estimation a few years later was more accurate with only pairs (BERGIER, 1987). Some research work detected a strong decline since 1980 and finally the last estimations were 50 or even breeding pairs in XXI century (FREY, 1996; THÉVENOT et al., 2003). There is not so much information about the causes of the decline in this population but poison seems to have had a strong impact and at the present time the Bearded vulture lives only in High and Anti Atlas mountains (THÉVENOT et al., 2003). The estimation of the Bearded Vulture s population in Morocco has been done always by indirect methods and collecting isolated observations, but never by field work. For this reason the GYPAE- TUS FOUNDATION started the first field work to try to get actual and real information about the Bearded vulture s situation in Morocco. The reasons of GYPAETUS FOUNDATION S interest in the Bearded vulture s populations in Morocco are mainly three: - It is an isolated and small population with high risk of extinction. - The possibility of contact between the Bearded vulture from Morocco and the Bearded vulture s population established in the future in Andalusia by the reintroduction project being carried out during the last 10 years exists. - The same threats which are having adverse effects on indigenous population actually, could have the same effects on birds released in Andalusia if they move to Morocco. 2. METHODS AND STUDY AREA We searched on bibliography and on Bearded vulture s unpublished records in Morocco to get all the information about the distribution of the species from 1980 until After this, we started several annual surveys with the aim of getting up to date and real information about the distribution and conservation of the Bearded vulture in this country. Until now the surveys have been focused on two areas in High Atlas Mountains (2002 and 2003 surveys) and one area in Anti Atlas Mountains (2004 survey). These areas and the surfaces searched are: - WESTERN HIGH ATLAS: Toubkal National Park and the valleys of Setti Fatma and Oukaïmeiden, with ha. - CENTRAL HIGH ATLAS: Jebel M Goun, with ha. - ESTERN ANTI ATLAS: Jebel Saghro, with ha. 3. RESULTS From bibliography and unpublished observations we got 43 Bearded vulture sightings from 1980 to 2000 in High, Middle and Anti Atlas, even though most of these observations were done in High and Anti Atlas. For this reason the field work was focused in HIGH AND ANTI ATLAS. * Fundación Gypaetus. Pza. Sta. María, s/n Cazorla (Jaén) SPAIN. ** Av. Mohamed Daoud. Rue Souisse, nº 7. Tetouan. MOROCCO.

99 2005 Autochthonous Populations 99 The result from the field work in different searched areas between 2002 and 2004 is: 3.1. TOUBKAL NATIONAL PARK AND THE VALLEYS OF OUKAÏMEDEN AND SETTI FATMA In these areas the Bearded vulture has been usually watched since 1980 and before due to a lot of people (tourist, hikers, ornithologists, etc) who visit the area of the National Park and to climb Toubkal Mountain. In our survey, the Bearded vulture was watched 21 times and from these observations five different birds were identified, two adults and three juveniles (less than three years old) in TOUBKAL NATIONAL PARK. In this area a roosting place was found with an adult bird next to Nelter s refuge (3.200 m.o.s.l.) In Oukaïmeden and Setti Fatma s valleys no Bearded vulture observation was done despite having got several observations in this area from JEBEL M GOUN In CENTRAL HIGH ATLAS the Bearded vulture has been usually watched too due to the same reasons of Toubkal National Park area (tourist, hikers, etc). In our survey the Bearded CENTRAL HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS. In this area we found the second Bearded vulture pair in We didn t find any nest but it was very common to watch both adults in the area. Photos: M. Caracuel, Spain vulture was watched 11 times. From these observations, five different birds were identified, four adults and one juvenile. Adult birds correspond to two different pairs which exist in this area. The nest of one of these pairs was found in 2003 but due to the date, end of October, it was not possible to know if the breeding was successful. Bad weather, especially the snow, made it impossible to get new information some months later about the success of this breeding pair JEBEL SAGHRO In EASTERN ANTI ATLAS the information about the Bearded vulture is not as abundant as in High Atlas but there were some observations of adult birds in 1997 (Y. ROULLANT pers. com.).

100 100 Autochthonous Populations 2005 No Bearded vulture observations were done in our survey in spite of the abundance of other big raptors like Golden (Aquila chryseatos) and Bonelli s Eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus) in the area, with ten and eleven pairs respectively found here. One old Bearded vulture nest was found in the area just next to the site where the last adult Bearded vultures were watched in With this result we can assume the extinction of the Bearded vulture in Eastern Anti Atlas as breeding species in the last 10 years, even though it is possible that non breeding birds can use this area in dispersal behaviour or Bearded vulture active nest. This pair was detected in 2003 in HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS. Due to bad weather, especially snow, it was impossible to get information about breeding success. Photos: M. Caracuel, Spain searching for food. EASTERN ANTI ATLAS. This area was searched in 2004 and no Bearded vultures were watched, only one old Bearded vulture s nest was found. On the other, high densities of other big raptors, especially Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) and Bonelli s Eagle (Hieraetus fasciatus), were detected. 4. CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE ACTIONS With these results and with the unpublished observations compiled, we can come to the conclusion that the Bearded vulture is still breeding in Morocco but with serious risk of extinction in the near future if there are not any conservation activities. The main conservation problem for the Bearded vulture in Morocco is, in first place, the lack of any kind of information about the actual distribution, population size, productivity and threats. It is difficult or impossible to know the number of breeding pairs in Morocco due to the absence of field work dedicated to get this information until 2002, when GYPA- ETUS FOUNDATION started the field work with this goal. Second, and as a direct threat mentioned by several authors, is the illegal poison. This threat has been described as the main threat for raptors in general in Morocco and for the Bearded vulture in particular (THÉVENOT et al., 2003), but the impression from our surveys in the last four years is that the poison could have had and important role in the past but actually other causes could be having a stronger effect on Bearded vulture s population, especially food availability (GODINO et al., 2005).

101 2005 Autochthonous Populations 101 CENTRAL HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS. Adult Bearded vultures expelling a juvenile Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) near to the nest in Central High Atlas mountains. Photos: J. R. Garrido, Spain It is possible that other threats similar to those suffered by European Bearded vultures populations, could be taking place now and/or in the future too, like power lines and shots, but these are not very important now. Evidently, the Bearded vulture population in Morocco has experienced a strong decline in the last 30 years, even though there is no updated information about actual size and threats in this population. The importance of the Bearded vulture populations in Morocco in the conservations strategies of this species in the Mediterranean area, the possible influence and contact between this population and the population established in the near future in Andalusía (Southern Spain) and the total absence of any kind of information about the last population in North Africa, with the exception of isolated observations, must be sufficient to start new projects to try to cover the absence of information about this population. For these reasons, in 2002, GYPAETUS FOUNDATION started the present project to study and work on the conservation of the Bearded vulture in Morocco. The first step has been to compile all the information HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS. Adult Bearded vulture in High Atlas mountains about the Bearded vulture in Morocco from 1970 to present and above all to carry out field works from 2001 onwards. In order to carry out intensive field work it is very important to know the real situation of the species and avoid wrong ideas or wrong population estimates, as happened in recent times due to total absence of this kind of work. But moat of all field work is very important in order to detect breeding territories and begin to carry out conservations actions as was done with the population of the Spanish Bearded vulture in the Pyrenees 30 years ago. The main activities of Gypaetus Foundation in Morocco next years are: 1. To continue with field work to try to find new breeding areas and to monitor those detected in former surveys, with the aim of getting information about the real situation of the Bearded vulture in Morocco.

102 102 Autochthonous Populations/Miscellaneous To create a database with all the Bearded vulture s observations in Morocco searching in bibliography and compiling all unpublished observations made by hikers, birdwatchers, biologist, etc, especially those made after the year To start contacts with the Moroccan government responsible for wildlife conservation, universities, wildlife NGO s and any other organization interested in the conservation of the Bearded vulture and to prepare conservations strategies for the Bearded vulture in Morocco. 4. To start conservation strategies in those areas where the Bearded vulture was detected breeding in the surveys. 5. AKNOWLEDGEMENTS We are very grateful to all people who send us information and/or unpublished observations of the Bearded vulture in Morocco: A. Martín, A. Valledor, D. Barreau, P. Soto, I. Elosegui, F. Cuzin, A. Camasco, R. Heredia, I. Cherkaoui, J. M. Gil, J. P. Milhau, R. Vernon, M. Escobar, J. M. Escobar, D. Marguerat, Y. Rooulland, H. Nouiri, A. Boujaja, R. Brandao, P. Carter, T. Gullick, A. Mudarra, G. Lleida, R. Popescu, A. Essabbani, A. Voyatzakis, H. Nouiri, A. Lovic, R. Garay, P. Villarejo, P. Jiménez, V. Pina & F. Romero. The surveys could never have been carried out without the Spanish ornithologists, biologists and rangers who worked voluntarily with us since We don t want to forget our Moroccan guides, cooks, donkey owners and especially the people who live in Atlas Mountains and maintain the bearded vultures with their customs and traditions. The Government of Andalusia and the enterprises Segurtrex Medición s.l. and EuroFerrys sponsored this work. 6. BIBLIOGRAPHY BERGIER, P Les Falconiformes Marocains. Status, Repartition et Ecologie. Institut Scientifique. Rabat. FREY, H The situation of the Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in the Mediterranean countries in Muntaner, J. y Majol, J. (Eds). Biología y Conservación de las Rapaces Mediterráneas, Monografías, nº 4. SEO, Madrid. GODINO, A., PAZ, J.L. & SIMÓN, M No deja de disminuir la población marroquí de quebrantahuesos. Quercus 233: 8. HEIM DE BALZAC & MAYAUD (1962). Les Oiseaux du nord-ouest de l Afrique, Lechevallier, París. THÈVENOT, M., BERGIER, P. & BEAUBURN, P Present distribution and status of raptors in Morocco. Pp in Newton, I. & Chancellor, R.D. (Eds). Conservation Studies on Raptor. ICBP Technical Publications Nº 5. THÈVENOT, M., VERNON, R. & BERGIER, P The Birds of Morocco. BOU Checklist Series: 20. Actions for the reintroduction of the Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in Andalusia by María Jesús García-Baquero Merino* & Miguel A. Simón Mata** The Bearded Vulture was a common species along all Iberian mountains until de middle of the XIX century. At the beginning of XX century, the enormous pressures from collectors and naturalists, indiscriminate hunting, and intense poisoning campaign contributed to the decline of this species. In the middle of 50 s we only had one population in the Cazorla Mountains; the last breeding occurred in 1983 in Castril Mountain. Because of the previous threats -particularly the vermin extinction committee- the Bearded Vulture finally became extinct in 1986 in Cazorla. The LIFE project 04/NAT/ES/ "REINTRODUCTION OF THE BEARDED VULTURE IN ANDALUSIA, is being developed from November 2004 by the Gypaetus Foundation (GF) and its partners: Andalusian Environment Government, Andalusian Hunting Federation (FAC) and the Small Farmers and Stockbreeders Association (UPA). Its goal is to establish a viable population of this vulture in southern Spain. The total budget for the project is 1, euros, 75% of which comes from the European Commission and the other 25%, comes from the Gypaetus Foundation and its partners. From the beginning of the reintroduction project, we followed the "IUCN guidelines for re-introductions. The four most important points that our work includes are: availability of suitable release stock, availability of suitable habitat of the historic range, releasing and monitoring techniques and societal involvement in the project. * Fundación Gypaetus. C/ Cataluña 8-2, 1º A, Jaén, SPAIN. ** Consejería de Medio Ambiente. Junta de Andalucía, SPAIN.

103 2005 Miscellaneous 103 AVAILABILITY OF SUITABLE RELEASE STOCK In 1996 an agreement was signed with the FCBV (Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded vulture), in which the Environment Ministry of Andalusia undertook to create the Guadalentín Breeding Centre (GBC) in order to join the EEP. Following the UICN recommendations, a genetic study was undertaken (Phylogeography, genetic structure and diversity in the endangered bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus, L.) as revealed by mitochondrial DNA, Godoy et al, 2004). The study supports the ongoing reintroduction of mixed ancestry birds of the EEP in Southern Spain. There are currently 27 birds in the Centre, 18 are from the FCVB, 3 are Pyrenean, 1 from a zoo and the other 5 have been born in the Centre. HABITAT ASSESMENT In 1993, Donazar published a mathematical model, which predicted the probability of a cliff being selected by the vulture. This author measured 13 variables on 111 Pyrenean nest sites; among the variables, those that significantly predicted the presence of nest sites were: topographic irregularity, altitude and distance to villages. We used a Geographical Information System to obtain digital models for the Andalusian territory. To determine which areas had both a high probability to be selected and the presence of cliffs, we overlapped the coverage of probability ( 0.8) and slope (>50º). Thus, the areas not included simultaneously by both received null value. Finally, the result is a map that includes exclusively those cliffs with the highest probabilities to be selected by Bearded vultures: the Andalusia potential nest areas map. To continue with our analysis, we selected only the areas included in protected areas that coincided with the historical distribution of the Bearded vulture. Thus, we obtained eight protected areas within the Andalusian Protected Areas Network. All of them are also Site of Community Importance (SCI) and Special Protection Areas (SPA). Other zones not coinciding with these criteria were temporally discarded for further analyses. POISONING was without any doubt the main cause of decline for the Bearded vulture in the Iberian Peninsula, and unfortunately, poisoning is still broadly used in Europe, and is a very serious problem for wildlife in general and for the Bearded vulture in particular. A recent report of the Gypaetus Foundation has analyzed the current situation of illegal poisoning and actions against it in Andalusia. This report concludes: that the current situation, although negative for many species, is not comparable with past massive, legal and popular poisoning campaigns that put in danger of extinction of the Bearded vulture. Since March 2004, the Andalusian Environment Ministry is implementing an ambitious program against poisoning, "Andalusian strategy for the eradication of illegal use of poison, which has more than 60 measures. The GF has developed its own strategy called "ACTION PLAN AGAINST POISONING but in collaboration with the regional one. We are campaigning in all the towns that can be affected by the reintroduction project. We liase with the phytosanitary distributors, and together with them and the Agriculture Ministry, we are looking for ways to exert more strict control over the sales of phytosanitaies products. The GF has also presented accusations in trials related to poisoning to collaborate in the battle against poison. Some aspects have increased the awareness against poisoning, but we feel that poison is the main threats for the reintroduction project and it s necessary to continue working to reduce it to acceptable levels. Other threats are POWER LINES. Although historically power lines were probably not a main cause of decline for the Bearded vulture, it is currently for this species and other vultures. We have mapped all of them included in our survey areas, and currently we re working to characterize those that are in the priority areas for the release. When we have the details of all the lines, we ll proceed to evaluate its dangerous in order to propose to the companies and environment ministry its modification and signalling. RELEASING AND MONITORING We have selected hacking as the release method, as it has been successfully used in a large number of raptor reintroduction projects, especially in the reintroduction project of the Bearded vulture into the Alps.

104 104 Miscellanous 2005 Currently we are preparing for the release: looking for the caves that may have minimum conditions. At the same time, we have been considering the best way to mark the offspring and have decided to use the following methods: rings, feathers bleaching and radiotelemetry but with a pelvic harness. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION The IUCN advises that a species should only be reintroduced when the factors that caused its extinction have been eliminated. Over 90% of Bearded vulture deaths are caused by human factors, mainly by poisoning and shooting, so the GF is carrying out a Social Education Programme for the Bearded vulture Reintroduction Project in Andalusia. We have talked to schoolchildren, university students, police, judges, hunters, game managers, stockbreeders, local councils, environmental groups, rural tourism and outdoor pursuit ventures, journalists, etc. to raise awareness. We ve been talking to more than students. Also, in 2004 an endangered species centre was open in Cazorla by the GF, and currently has received more than visitors. To conclude, it seems everything is ready for the release: the breeding centre work, the feasibility study, the information campaign, etc. But it s necessary to work very hard against the threats, especially poison and power lines. THIS PROJECT IS POSSIBLE THANKS TO THE EFFORT OF: Technical Director: Miguel Simón Rising Awareness: Antonio Carrasco; Esperanza Juiménez; Juan Cesar Salamanca Posioning: Sergio Couto; José Eugenio Gutiérrez, ; Antonio Ruíz Feasibility Studies: Alfonso Godino; María Jesus García - Baquero; Francisco J. Hernández; Mariló Romero; Jose Manuel Padial Guadalentín Breeding Centre: Alejandro Llopis ; Fernando Bautista; Manuel del Barco; Patricia Cabrera; Elena Macías. The Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus): Age features and moult process by Angelika Adam* & Alejandro Llopis** Published in 2003 as: "El Quebrantahuesos (Gypaetus barbatus): características en cada edad y proceso de muda - The Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus): age features and moult process. Taller Ecología - Ecologistas en acción. Torredonjimeno, Gráficas la Paz. 1. TYPES OF FEATHERS AND GENERAL REMARKS ON AGE DETERMINATION After the young birds' down the first feathers appear (juvenile plumage). This juvenile plumage is then shed and substituted by a second plumage which is in turn replaced in the next moult by the adult plumage. The first and second plumages, in addition to the adult plumage, can be differentiated by observing the feathers. The subsequent moults of adult plumage can no longer be related to the bird's age since neither the shape nor the colour of the feathers vary. In these cases, birds can only be distinguished through closer observation - thus only being possible with captive birds. In these cases only individual features such as the shape of the breast band, the eyebrow, the beard, the bill etc. can be taken into consideration in order to differentiate birds. The most important features of the feathers of different parts of the body and the three plumages (juvenile, transition and adult plumage) are described below: * Hackengasse 19/4/49, A-1150 Wien, Austria. ** Centre de Recuperació de Fauna Vallcalent, Partida de Vallcalent, 63; E Lleida

105 2005 Miscellaneous 105 FIRST PLUMAGE (=JUVENILE PLUMAGE): On occiput and neck: black, pointed and partially elongated; and, as an individual feature, some almost entirely white feathers can appear on the throat area. On the wings: brown with white tips, ends somewhat rounded; as a feature of each individual bird between the median win coverts and the first inner lesser coverts, some predominantly beige or white individual feathers or whole rows of feathers. On the mantel (upper part of the back): a triangular mark formed by numerous scattered almost entirely white feathers. On the breast, belly and trousers: brownish-grey with white rounded tips, often white areas on wingtips. Primaries and secondaries: long, brown with relatively pointed tips. SECOND PLUMAGE (=TRANSITION PLUMAGE): On the occiput and neck: black, pointed and partially elongated; on throat and as an individual feature some almost entirely white feathers can appear. On the wings: almost brown, rounded tips; as a feature of each individual bird between the median wing coverts and the first inner lesser coverts, some predominantly beige or white individual feathers or whole rows of feathers. On the mantel (upper part of the back): a triangular mark formed by scattered beige or dark brown feathers. On the breast, belly and trousers: brownish-grey, rounded, sometimes white areas on tips, Primaries and secondaries: somewhat shorter, brown with rounded ends; except for the outermost primaries which are longer and have pointed tips. THIRD PLUMAGE (= ADULT PLUMAGE): On the the occiput and neck: white, pointed and partially elongated. On the wings: lanceolate, black edges, pointed white tips. Around the rachis: light silvery grey. On the mantel (upper part of the back): lanceolate, black edges, pointed white tips. Around the rachis: light silvery grey. On breast, belly and trousers: white and rounded, Primaries and secondaries: black edge, rest light silvery grey with white tips. OTHER FEATHERS CAN ALSO BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION WHEN DETERMINING THE BIRD'S AGE: Normally when the bird is 1.5 years old the colour of the iris changes from dark brown to yellow and the sclera from dirty to bright red. The iris gradually turns light yellow. In the juvenile plumage a roughly triangular or crescent-shaped mark appears on the breast, formed by dark brown feathers. During the moult this area turns into a broad band and in the adult plumage it either turns into a narrow brownish-black breast band or else is restricted to a few scattered feathers with large brownishblack areas on the tips. In order to determine the bird's age, the highest possible number of these features should be taken into consideration MOULT PROCESS In order to determine the bird's age with precision an examination of the exact moult process is desirable. Thereby each of the plumages can be clearly differentiated. It has been proven that there is a great variation, especially during the moult from the second plumage (transition plumage) to adult plumage conditioned by the individual differences in the rate at which the plumage is changed. Females tend to aquire their complete adult plumage earlier than males. Over a one year period all Bearded Vultures do not change their plumage at the same rate. Nevertheless, in general it is quite clear that there is a regular moult process of the breast, belly and trouser feathers and that the second moult starts before the previous one has ended, thus enabling the localization of feathers from the first and second moults along with feathers from the adult plumage in the same individual. In both moults an exponential increase can be observed in the wing and shoulder feathers as the second moult is implanted when the first has practically ended.

106 106 Miscellanous 2005 me rate. Nevertheless, in general it is quite clear that there is a regular moult process of the breast, belly and trouser feathers and that the second moult starts before the previous one has ended. In the case of a premature loss of coverts or remiges, due to unnatural causes (injuries, etc.), a feather corresponding to the next plumage appears MOULT OF REMIGES AND RECTRICES The Bearded vulture's flight feathers are composed of: 10 primaries, 20 secondaries and 6 rectrices. The first moult begins approximately with the contour feathers at one year. And the beginning of the second moult can be confirmed at 3 years at the earliest. Both moults have a similar duration of approximately 3 years. The primaries are moulted in descending order during the change from the first to second plumage. In the secondaries, moult foci become clearly visible on the outer edges, whilst feathers in the centre of this area are shed irregularly. The moult of the rectrices begins in two foci. This is in keeping with the generic moult process in the family Accipitridae. During the first year, the first primaries are moulted, in the second year the 3 or 4 following remiges and in the third year the 3 or 4 remaining ones. The start of the moult of the secondaries takes place when the first three primaries have already been moulted. On the other hand, the wing feathers are not moulted symmetrically OBSERVATIONS OF BEARDED VULTURE IN FLIGHT MOULT OF REMIGES AND RECTRICES (FLIGHT FEATHERS) The flight silhouette of a bird with wide wings with rounded tips permits the identification of juvenile plumage. In contrast, after the second plumage the birds have narrow wings with pointed tips and a wider span. The fact that the Bearded Vulture's tail appears longer after the second plumage, is soley due to the fact that the wings are narrower. On the other hand, a modification in the shape from juvenile to adult plumage can be detected since, whilst the adult Bearded Vulture's tail is wedge-shaped, in a young individual it appears more rounded due to the contrast with the longer outer feathers. The change from the first to the second plumage is easy to detect in the flight silhouette due to the irregular trailing edge of the wings. This is due to the mixture of long, pointed, light-coloured feathers of the juvenile plumage with the more rounded, shorter and darker feathers of the second plumage. However, this can only be observed with ease when the moult process has already reached an advanced phase and not at one year. This means that the Bearded Vultures in which one can no longer observe the long feathers of the juvenile plumage are already at least 3.5 years old. In field observations it is impossible to differentiate the completed second plumage from the adult plumage, since the feathers of both plumages only vary in tonality and sheen. If one observes a Bearded Vulture in flight, from above and in the sunshine, the feathers of the second plumage appear dull, whilst those of an adult shine. Observed from below, the old feathers of the juvenile plumage appear lighter coloured, almost transparent in comparison with the newly moulted feathers of the second plumage. Exactly the same difference can be observed between the old feathers of the second plumage and the new ones of the third. The reason for this is that the new feathers are darker whilst the older feathers have been bleached by the weather CONTOUR FEATHERS In the juvenile plumage some almost completely white feathers can be observed in the throat area. These feathers do not consitute a feature of the adult plumage, but rather an individual feature of the Bearded Vulture in question.

107 2005 Miscellaneous 107 The Bearded Vultures in the Pyrenees have a beige-white band on the median wing-coverts and on the first lower rows of the lesser wing-coverts during the juvenile plumage. In the birds which formed the basis of the reintroduction project in the Alps, a considerable number of almost completely beige or white individual feathers were observed. In the contour feathers of the second plumage of the Bearded Vultures in the Pyrenees, they have a beige-white band in the median wing-coverts and the first lower rows of the inner wing-coverts. With the second moult and consquently with the growth of the feathers of the adult plumage, these stripes disintegrate as the bird grows older, becoming groups of feathers, and even individual feathers, almost totally beige or white in colour. Once it has the adult plumage, the bird acquires a uniform appearance, that is, the Bearded Vultures which have such a pronounced white stripe that it is even visible in full flight, are birds with their first or second plumage. This, however, is only visible in the Bearded Vultures in the Pyrenees. In contrast, the birds in the reintroduction project in the Alps, with their second plumage present only individual feathers or at the most groups of almost beige or entirely white feathers, but never clear white bands. Likewise, light areas (white) appear when the primary coverts situated in front of the corresponding remiges are changed, since at this moment the inner down becomes visible. In flight, these areas, observed from below, appear translucent, whilst seen from above, they appear lighter spots. A similar phenomenon is observed when the underwing coverts are shed, before the corresponding remiges, with these areas observed from below appearing lighter. The birds which in flight present a white area on the nape are in the process of gaining adult plumage, since this moult begins on the occiput and advances progressively downwards along the neck. Therefore, generically speaking it may be said that a Bearded Vulture over 3.5 years old has a somewhat darker neck and a white area on the occiput. Before reaching adult plumage, the whole of the occiput and the neck, up to a circular black area at the point where the neck joins the rest of the body, are white. The flecked appearance of the contour feathers of a Bearded Vulture which has already started to moult or which already has the second plumage, is due to the feathers which appeared earlier having lost their colour because of atmospheric conditions. The new feathers of the second plumage are darker than those of the juvenile plumage and the first ones to appear in the second plumage. Moreover, one can distinguish the intact edge of the recently moulted feathers from the worn edge of the old feathers. The feathers corresponding to the second plumage are in general often varied in colour. Thus, light brown and even dark brown feathers can appear, and many of them are quite similar to the feathers of the adult plumage. These feathers, however, never have the typical colour or perfect shape of the adult feathers, and thus this plumage does not present the uniform tonality of an adult bird. When the plumage is analysed on the basis of the colour of the feathers, the "dying" and incidence of the light must be borne in mind, since these factors make classification difficult (in particular the feathers of the breast, belly and trousers). The intensity of this colour then, depends on the behaviour of the individual bird (frequency of baths) and the original tone of the dyed feathers (if the feathers are white this is more obvious). Because of this, birds which have almost finished their second moult often present an almost completely rusty red tonality on the occiput, neck, breast, belly and trousers. 3. SUMMARY The Bearded Vulture acquires adult plumage after two moult cycles. The beginning of the first moult takes place at one year and generally ends during the bird's fourth year. The second moult starts when the bird is approximately three years old and ends at different ages and varies depending on the individual bird. In any case, at seven years all Bearded Vultures have adult plumage. Three different plumages can be differentiated in the moult process: the juvenile plumage, the second plumage and the adult plumage. During the first year of its life, the Bearded Vulture has a dark brown iris, a dirty red sclera and a black face. The occiput and neck are covered in black feathers. The general external appearance is a uniform colour, due to the brownish-grey feathers on the breast, belly and trousers, and the brown feathers of the wing-coverts. All these feathers have white tips. Moreover, there is a crescent-shaped mark on the breast, formed by dark brown feathers. The fea-

108 108 Miscellanous 2005 ture typical of a one year old bird is the whitish triangular mark on its back. The flight silhouette reveals wide wings with rounded ends and a relatively rounded tail. The difference between a 2 year old and a 3 year old Bearded Vulture is not very marked; only the face turns lighter in the third year and thus appears white. The bird's general appearance is more flecked because of the mixture of feathers from the first and second plumages, and also due to the different age of the feathers. In this period, feathers from the juvenile plumage which have been bleached by the weather can still be seen. Moreover, old feathers of the second plumage are visible beside the recently moulted brown second plumage feathers without white tips. The feature which most clearly differentiates 2 year old birds from 3 year olds is the flight silhouette. In the third year there are approximately the same number of flight feathers from the first plumage as from the second plumage (especially in the secondaries) leading the wings to having irregularly shaped edges. This occurs because the secondaries of the juvenile plumage are quite a bit longer and more pointed than those of the second plumage. In general, during the second year the iris becomes yellow and the sclera turns red. The face becomes paler and thus adopts a greyish appearance, whilst the occiput and neck continue to be covered in black feathers. When the first moult begins the bird has a flecked appearance. With time, the breast band becomes gradually narrower and the triangular mark becomes more diffuse with the appearance of feathers flecked with beige to dark brownafter the bird's third year, feathers of the adult plumage start to appear. Thus, in the fourth year the occiput and neck are black with some scattered white feathers, whilst in the fifth year they are white with some black feathers. In the fourth year, the face is already completely white. White feathers begin to appear on the breast, belly and trousers, and the typically lanceolate feathers of the adult plumage appear on the wing-coverts. The triangular mark is no longer visible and, after the fourth year, the edges of the wings on longer appear irregular. During the sixth year the head becomes totally white, with brownish-black fathers appearing around the breast band area. Many 5.5 year old individuals already have a more or less complete adult plumage. It now has the flight silhouette typical of an adult bird, with narrow pointed wings and a wedge-shaped tail. Given that the start, the duration and the speed of the moult process in the different parts of the body vary from one individual to the next, age determination should not be based on one single feature. Only a combination of all the features allows the age to be determined with some degree of accuracy. Hubertus 2, BG 446 Photos: E. Haslacher, Austria

109 2005 Miscellaneous 109 Annual Report of the Breeding Centre Naturund Tierpark Goldau, Switzerland, 2005 by Martin Wehrle * BG x BG One egg on 5th of January 2005, which hatched after natural breeding on the 27th of February Hatching took 48 hours and was incomplete. The skin of the egg dried out before the chick hatched completely. Artificial removing of the skin was successful and the nestling grew up to a very strong bird. Five days before releasing a satellite transmitter was fixed on the young bird. Offspring Folio BG 463 (female) was released in Zernez on 11th of June BG x BG The pair had one egg on 8th of January The egg was infertile and the birds were brooding until 21st of March BG x BG The pair had one egg on 25th of January The egg was infertile but they continued brooding until 25th of March Soaring to Extincton: The population status of the Bearded vulture, Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis, in southern Africa by Sonja Krüger **, Douglas van Zyl** & Alfonso Godhino *** INTRODUCTION The Bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis) in southern Africa has suffered a strong decline in 19th and 20th Centuries in both numbers and range (BROOKES, 1984). The species is currently listed as endangered in southern Africa due to its small and declining population size and the threats to the species (BARNES, 2000). The Bearded vulture has lost 38% of its former breeding range and is now restricted to a breeding range of approximately km 2 within the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains of South Africa and Lesotho (BROWN, 1991; BROWN, 1997). CAPE GRIFFON VULTURE (Gyps coprotheres) flying. Several colonies were found during the survey but a population decline was detected too with respect to previous works. Photo: CH. VAN ROYEN, South Africa Detailed research into the biology, population dynamics, distribution and feeding ecology of the Bearded vulture was undertaken by C. J. BROWN in the early 1980s. Since then, no further research or monitoring was undertaken until 2000 when Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife (EKZNW) initiated * Natur- und Tierpark Goldau am Rigi, Postfach 161, CH-6410 Goldau, Switzerland, ** Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, P.O. Box 13053, Cascades, 3202, South Africa. *** Cristo del Gallo, Úbeda (Jaén). Spain.

110 110 Miscellanous 2005 ted the Bearded vulture and the Cape vulture (Gyps coprotheres) monitoring programmes. The programmes aimed at determining the status of the Bearded vulture and Cape vulture in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa and more specifically in the ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site (UDP WHS). Several ground and aerial surveys have been undertaken between 2000 and During September 2005, EKZNW organized an intensive ground survey in the UDP WHS and its surroundings to determine the status of the Bearded vulture in the Park and specifically the number of breeding pairs of Bearded vulture in the area. In addition, the presence of Cape vulture and all other large raptors was also recorded. The 2005 survey was the largest ground based vulture monitoring effort ever carried out in the country and the most intensive Bearded vulture survey done in the last 25 years. The survey team constituted ecologists, reserve managers, field rangers and honorary officers from EKZNW and a group of Spanish biologists and ornithologists. The latter also assisted by training EKZNW staff in Bearded vulture monitoring techniques. METHODS The ground survey was conducted over a 14 day period during September Sixty five people were involved during each of the two weeks of the survey, totalling 110 person days, plus an additional four logistical / administrative staff. Survey participants were divided into eight teams which covered the KwaZulu-Natal / Free State escarpment. These teams consisted of both South African and Spanish individuals. Although additional teams covered the lowlands, this survey report focuses on the escarpment survey undertaken through the Spanish - South African collaboration. During the 14 day survey period, one day was spent on a briefing and monitoring techniques training session, eights days were spent surveying in the field, two days were spent resting and one day was spent on a debriefing session. For some teams, surveying was not possible on two days as a result of poor weather conditions. The survey covered the Drakensberg escarpment from Golden Gate National Park (Free State) in the north to Bushman s Nek in the UDP WHS (KwaZulu-Natal) in the south. Each team was allocated a section of the escarpment for the survey period. Where survey starting points were difficult or time consuming to reach, helicopters flew teams to the starting points at the contour level. In the southern Drakensberg, 15 Squadron of the South African National Defence Force flew teams to Vergelegen, Cobham, Lotheni, Garden Castle and Giant s Castle. In the north, teams were flown to Monk s Cowl and Cathedral Peak by Starlight Aviation. The teams walked parallel to the escarpment searching all the potential cliffs for sign of Bearded vulture to Izini river. In this area no Bearded Vulture s (Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis) nest was found, but regular observations of adult birds during the survey indicate the presence of an adult pair in this area. Photo: J. Bautista, Spain

111 2005 Miscellaneous 111 obtain information on their nests, territories, roost sites, feeding sites and to identify non- breeding birds. Detailed observations were made where active nests were found, in order to obtain information on breeding success. In addition, four feeding sites were visited namely; Golden Gate National Park and Sterkfontein Dam in the Free State, and Waterford Farm and Giant s Castle in KwaZulu-Natal. RESULTS The total distance of the Drakensberg escarpment that was surveyed from north to south was 250 km. Overall, 117 observations were made of 137 Bearded vultures along the escarpment of which 57 were individually recognisable birds (12 juveniles, five sub-adults, 40 adults; TABLE 1). The total observations per reserve are detailed in TABLE 1. A total of 11 active Bearded vulture nests were identified along the escarpment, including one abandoned nest where a breeding attempt had been made but was later abandoned (TABLE 2). Some nests were occupied by nestlings. In addition, six territories were identified that were occupied by non-breeding pairs along the escarpment (TABLE 2). These territories are considered potential nesting pairs because although nests were located in some instances, these were not active at the time of the survey. TABLE 1. The total number of observations of Bearded vulture per reserve during the survey period with the minimum number of individually recognisable birds that could be identified from the various observations. Where J= Juveniles, SAd= Sub-Adults and Ad=Adults. LOCATION TOTAL NO. OF OBSERVATIONS TOTAL NO. OSERVED MINIMUM NO. OF INDIVIDUALS OBSERVED Golden Gate to Royal Natal Rugged Glen area Mnweni Cathedral Monk s Cowl Injisuthi Giant s Castle (Witteberg) Lotheni Vergelegen Cobham Garden Castle TOTAL : 2J, 0SAd, 5Ad 2: 0J, 0Sad, 2Ad 10: 3J, 2Sad, 5Ad 4: 1J, 1Sad, 2Ad 6: 1J, 1Sad, 4Ad 3: 0J, 0Sad, 3Ad 4: 0J, 0Sad, 4Ad 6: 2J, 0Sad, 4Ad 7: 1J, 0Sad, 6Ad 3: 0J, 1Sad, 2Ad 5: 2J, 0Sad, 3Ad 57: 12J, 5SAd, 40Ad Two roosting places were identified that had more than two adult birds namely; Garden Castle (three adults and two juveniles) and Golden Gate (one adult, two sub adults and five juveniles). A total of 16 individual Bearded Vultures was recorded at feeding sites during the survey (TABLE 3). One adult and six juveniles were recorded at Golden Gate National Park; four juvenile birds were recorded at Waterford Farm, three adults were recorded at Giant s Castle and two adults were recorded at Sterkfontein Dam. Incidental observations of other raptors included 50 sightings of Cape Vulture (401 individuals), 17 of Verreaux Eagle (22 individuals), 10 sightings of Jackal Buzzard (8 individuals), 10 sightings of Lanner Falcon (16 individuals), three sightings of Gymnogene and Secretary birds respectively and one sighting each of Cape Eagle Owl, Forest Buzzard and Black Harrier.

112 112 Miscellanous 2005 TABLE 2: The number of active and potential Bearded vulture Nest sites identified during the September 2005 survey. LOCATION SITE PAIRS NESTING NON-BREEDING PAIRS/ POTENTIAL NESTING PAIR KwaZulu-Natal escarpment Free State escarpment TOTAL Rugged Glen Mnweni Cathedral Monk s Cowl Injisuthi Giant s Castle (Witteberg) Lotheni Vergelegen Cobham Garden Castle Witsieshoek TABLE 3. The number of Bearded vulture recorded at feeding sites during the September 2005 survey. FEEDING SITE ADULTS SUBADULTS JUVENILES Golden Gate Sterkfontein Dam Giant s Castle Waterford Farm TOTAL DISCUSSION The 2005 survey has provided the best information on active Bearded vulture nest sites as well as alternate nest sites since the early 1980s. In order to determine the current status of the species, results will be compared with known nesting pairs rather than estimated pairs from Brown s data. BROWN (1992) estimated there to be 42 breeding pairs of Bearded vulture in KwaZulu-Natal of which 19 pairs were known to him along the escarpment, and seven pairs in the Free State / Qwa- Searching in Long Wall, Giant s Castle, where one active Bearded Vulture s (Gypaetus Qwa of which four were barbatus meridionalis) nest was found. known. Overall, a total Photo: A. Godino & I. Molina, Spain of 23 pairs of Bearded vulture were known to Brown in the area covered during the 2005 survey.

113 2005 Miscellaneous 113 The 2005 survey results identified a total of 11 breeding pairs on the escarpment which suggests that there has been a 52% decline in the number of breeding birds. If the number of non-breeding birds identified during the 2005 survey are included, the decline is reduced to 26 %. These percentage declines are based on known number of nests in the past rather than estimated number of nests and therefore represent the maximum possible decline, although the number of nests may have been over-estimated in the past. The results from the 2005 escarpment survey suggest that there are several threats to the population, which are resulting in a continued decline in their numbers. The main threats to Bearded vulture in South Africa and Lesotho that were identified in the 1980s included direct and indirect POI- SONING, SHOOTING, POWER LINE COLLISION and ELECTROCUTION and HABITAT LOSS. Threats that have recently emerged and may be impacting on the species include FOOD SHORTAGE, DISTURBANCE AT NESTS by climbers and helicopters, INDIRECT POISONING of carcasses treated with veterinary drugs and POISONING for traditional medicine purposes. Prolonged exposure to smoke from veld fires is an additional threat that has been identified and requires further investigation. CONCLUSION The intensive Bearded vulture ground survey undertaken in 2005 has provided the best information on the status of the species during this century. This monitoring programme must continue in the KwaZulu-Natal province and be extended to include other areas within the Bearded vulture s breeding and feeding range. It is recommended that two sites along the escarpment within the UDP WHS (Cathedral Peak and Giant s Castle) are searched extensively during September The 2005 survey located only half of Brown s known nest sites in Giant s Castle and none of the three sites in Cathedral Peak. South African National Park s staff should be encouraged to locate the nest site of the adult pair seen feeding regularly at the Golden Gate feeding site. Emphasis must also be placed on surveying the Eastern Cape. A formal monitoring programme for Bearded vulture will be developed and adopted following the Population Habitat and Viability Analysis which was conducted in March The programme will include the monitoring of the non-breeding population at feeding and roosting sites to provide an indication of juvenile survival rates, and will place emphasis on researching the causes of deaths and identifying priority areas of threat to adult and juvenile Bearded vulture. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The success of the 2005 Bearded vulture survey is as a result of the dedicated efforts of the participants and logistics staff during the two week survey period as well as during the organisation period. The Spanish team is thanked for their assistance with the survey and in training the EKZNW staff. The Spanish film crew from Canal Sur TV produced various documentaries which will help raise awareness of the species, its status and threats to the species. The assistance of South African National Defence Force 15 Squadron and Starlight Aviation is greatly appreciated in ferrying teams to survey points. The Wildlands Conservation Trust, Sasol (through Endangered Wildlife Trust), the Maloti Drakensberg Transfrontier Project, EKZNW, Segurtrex Mediación S.L, Gypaetus Foundation, National Park of Ordesa y Monte Perdido are thanked for funding the survey. Many thanks to His Excellency Mr. Ramón Gil-Casares, Spanish Ambassador in South Africa and to Ricardo Santos y Patricia Sáez, from the Spanish Embassy in South Africa, for the kindness and hospitality shown to the Spanish team. Finally we are grateful to Mark Anderson, who facilitated contact between the Spanish and South African Bearded vulture researchers from the start. REFERENCES BARNES, K. (Ed.) The Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg. BROOKE, R.K South African Red Data Book- Birds. S Afr. Natn. Sci. Progr. Rpt. 97. Pretoria: C.S.I.R. BROWN, C.J An Investigation into the decline of the Bearded vulture Gypaetus barbatus in southern Africa. Biological Conservation 57(3): BROWN, C.J Distribution and status of the Bearded vulture Gypaetus barbatus in southern Africa. Ostrich. 63: 1-9. BROWN, C.J Population dynamics of the Bearded vulture Gypaetus barbatus in southern Africa Af. J. Ecol. 35:

114 114 Miscellanous 2005 The FCBV Annual Meeting, Cuneo, Italy, 18th November 2005 by Laura Fasce* The Administrative Director of the Natural Park Alpi Marittime, Dr. PATRIZIA ROSSI, welcomed the participants, who were in the number of about 200, reminding the Anniversary of 25 years of the creation of the Park and thanking the Province of Cuneo, which allowed using a new Congress Centre in town. She also announced a few important projects of the Park: among them the creation of a new protected area, which will allow linking the Alpi Marittime Park with the Po of Cuneo Park. Then the new President of FCBV, Dr. PAOLO FASCE, thanked for their hospitality the joined Parks of Alpi Marittime and Mercantour and the Province of Cuneo. He spoke of the changes occurred in the FCBV s Board, with the resignations of MAARTEN BIJLEVELD VAN LEXMOND, who had been first Board Member and then its President for 9 years, PIERRE GOELD- LIN DE TIEFENAU and IAN LOUWMAN, both of them Board Members since the creation of FCBV. He expressed his gratitude for the work they had done for many years, bringing the Project of reintroduction of the Bearded vulture to the big success we know today, together with the support of late lamented Dr. RICHARD FAUST and the tireless efforts of HANS FREY. After a short summary of the development and the many successes already obtained by the Project, he spoke then of the new challenges and the changes needed in a near future, to adapt and face the evolution of the newly established Alpine population, to help surviving relict populations in Europe and to reintroduce in other European countries the Bearded vulture, with the aim to connect the different populations and finally cancel the still existing threats, like the use of poison, which in many places is the main danger to the birds of prey and scavengers in general. MICHEL TERRASSE reminded shortly how he had met MAARTEN BIJLEVELD in the Fifties in Spain, where a "Vultures Restaurant was being created, and how afterwards he had always given his strong support in the protection of vultures and how he had contributed to the growth of the Black vulture Foundation, as well as to the one of FCBV. After a lengthy applause to the past FCBV Board Members, HANS FREY exposed the results of Breeding Centres in 2005, beginning from Vienna Breeding Unit, recently renamed RICHARD FAUST CEN- TRE, in honour of the man who so much had done in his life for the Bearded vulture. The reproduction was generally good, with 17 young survived. Three new Centres have joined the Project: Vallcalent (Spain), Ukraine Zoo (Ukraine), and Beograd Zoo (Yugoslavia). It is foreseen also the participation of Parc Paradiso (Belgium), Beauval Zoo (France) and Parco Natura Viva (Italy). PAOLO FASCE remarked the importance of the breeding centres, which have an induced effect on improving the knowledge of the species. MICHAEL KNOLLSEISEN reported on release in Austria. This year Escalero (BG 462) and Doraja (BG 465) were released in the Salzburg side of Hohe Tauern Park. In spite of disturbance caused by the presence of Nicola (BG 138, released in 1991 in Austria), a very aggressive bird, around the release site, both birds fledged regularly. By mistake these two birds have been marked as the birds released in Haute Savoie last year: respectively as Bella Cha (BG 441) and Gilbert (BG 440). See KNOLLSEISEN S report in this Bulletin for more details. DANIEL HEGGLIN reported on the release of Natura (BG 464) and Folio (BG 463) in Engadin (Switzerland): the two birds were equipped with satellite transmitters and fledged regularly (see HEGG- LIN S report in this Bulletin for more details). MARIE ZIMMERMANN reported on the release of Swaro (BG 459) and Sallanches (BG 460), which fledged regularly (see ZIMMERMANN S report in this Bulletin for more details). BENOÎT LEQUETTE reported on the release of Monaco (BG 452) and Montecarlo (BG 455). Also these birds were by mistake marked as the birds released in Alpi Marittime Park last year: respectively as Blangiar (BG 433) and Palanfré (BG 435). The young fledged regularly. PHILIPPE FONTANILLES has been charged of the monitoring (see LEQUETTE S report in this Bulletin for more details). MICHAEL KNOLLSEISEN reported on the reproduction in Austria, where another failure had to be registered. The pair had to move to a second nest, having been sent away from the first by a pair of * Via G. d Annunzio 2/112, I Genova, ITALIA,

115 2005 Miscellaneous 115 Golden eagles. They laid eggs and a chick was born, but it died within the first week of life. The second egg contained an embryo dead in the first week of brood (see KNOLLSEISEN report in this Bulletin for more details). ANDREA PIROVANO reported on reproduction in Stelvio National Park, where three young were successfully raised. The young of the Zebrù pair was observed out of the nest after 100 days: it had moved to avoid the heat, probably, as the nest was very exposed and also the adult birds were observed looking for shadow. The first flight took place 11 days later. The Stelvio Park is trying to organize a network of observers outside the Park, having for this purpose also instructed 139 people, among professional and amateurs (see PIROVANO S report in this Bulletin for more details). MARIE ZIMMERMANN reported on reproduction in Haute Savoie (France): the Bargy pair produced a young, named Bargy. This pair, after genetic analysis resulted formed by Assignat (BG 111, 1989, Haute Savoie) and Balthazar (BG 099, 1988, Haute Savoie), instead of Melchior (BG 101, 1988, Haute Savoie), as it was believed. The Fiz pair and the Sixt pair did not reproduce this year, both for unknown reasons. The two territories are crossed by power lines, which Asters and LPO are trying to make visible, by means of application of red balls on the wires. Unfortunately the cost of the equipment is very high. Since the summer 2005, no more birds were observed in Sixt, but maybe a new pair is present in Doran, possibly formed by Georg (BG 355, 2000, Austria) and Rhone Alp (BGW 05, 1999) (see ZIM- MERMANN S report in this Bulletin for more details). JEAN FRANÇOIS DALIX and JEAN PIERRE MARTINOT reported on reproduction in Vanoise (France): three young fledged in the territories Val d Isère, Termignon (where flying date was more precocious than in the past years) and Pesey Nancroix. One of the partners of the pair Val d Isère could be Républic 3 (BG 166, 1992, Haute Savoie); the pair of Termignon is formed by Stelvio (BGW02, 1998) and Gelas (BG 279, 1997, Mercantour), whilst in Pesey Nancroix one of the partners could be Pheonix Alp Action (BGW01, 1997), being this one the first wild born young to reproduce, if the identification is correct (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). CHASPER BUCHLI exposed the structure and history of Stiftung pro Bartgeier, the Foundation charged in Switzerland of release and monitoring, with the help of many sponsors. He also asked for information about the future strategy of FCBV, in order to plan their activity and the call for funds. DANIEL HEGGLIN reported on the situation in Switzerland, where a pair in Sinestra is present, but maybe not formed by the same individuals (Margunet, BG 149, 1991, Engadin, and Retia, BG 357, 2000, Stelvio) of the past year. During winter Louis (BG 364, 2000, Engadin) and Thuri (BG 424, 2003, Engadin) were observed in upper Engadin. The pair of Val Foraz had showed nesting behaviour, but since August they have not been anymore observed (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). RAPHAEL ARLETTAZ reported on the situation in Valais (Switzerland), where many more birds than in the past are presently observed. Young Bearded vultures seem to prefer the South exposed slopes. In Derborence the pair could be formed by Roubion, BG 311, 1999, Mercantour, (more likely), or Aisone, BG 304, 1998, Alpi Marittime, and Gildo, BG 299, 1998, Engadin, identified on genetic ground (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). MARTINO NICOLINO and PAOLO FASCE reported on the situation in Aosta Valley (Italy). The pair of Val di Rhêmes was not anymore observed since summer-autumn In Val di Cogne since winter Georg (BG 355, 2000, Austria) was frequently observed, in spring 2005 also with an immature bird, disappeared since the summer. Also Georg was not anymore observed since September. In Valdigne a pair formed by Républic 13 (BG 335, 1999, Haute Savoie) and possibly Christelle (BG 363, 2000, Engadin) is present. A nest was found, well charged and used by the birds, but no reproduction took place (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). CHRISTIAN COULOUMY reported on the situation in National Park Ecrins (France), where the observations of Bearded vulture have increased since The most part of the observed birds were released in Mercantour Park, the others coming from all release sites (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). PHILIPPE FONTANILLES reported on the situation in Mercantour National Park (France), where a few adult birds had been observed in the year (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin).

116 116 Miscellanous 2005 LUCA GIRAUDO reported on the situation in Alpi Marittime Natural Park and neighbouring regions (Italy). The pairs of Valle Stura and Valle Maira had been observed regularly, although very recently (November 2005) in both territories one only bird was observed (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). In the afternoon, MARTINE RAZIN reported on the wild population of the Spanish Pyrenees, on behalf of RAFAEL HEREDIA. The occupied territories are 102; 56 pairs laid eggs and 36 young were raised, with a productivity of 0,43/0,40 and a breeding success of 0,61. The percentage of breeding pairs was 67%. The number of territories has increased, but productivity decreased. Poison is still the main cause of death (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). She then reported on French Pyrenees, where 25 pairs (or trios) are present and 4 are in formation. Productivity was 0.39 and breeding success In the Eastern part of the chain colonization must be fostered with artificial feeding. Poison has caused the death of 2 Bearded vultures (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). PAOLO FASCE reported on Corsica, on behalf of JEAN FRANÇOIS SEGUIN: also in 2005 no young was raised and in two pairs one of the partners is an immature bird, showing that turn over in the population is suffering due to lack of adult birds (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). He commented that reintroduction in Sardinia must be taken into account in the future strategy of FCBV, to help the Corsican population. STAVROS XIROUCHAKIS reported on Crete, where 5 pairs were present in Productivity and breeding success have increased during he last 6 years, thanks to artificial feeding, which improved survival and productivity. Moreover a campaign of public awareness had brought on, to avoid killing of vultures. ALFONSO GODINO reported on a survey in Marocco, where a small and isolated population is present, surely in critical conditions, although very little information is available, both about distribution, breeding success and threats. Poison is surely used. During another survey in South Africa, 8 territories were found. Poison, shooting, power lines, climbing, flight of helicopters and traditional medicine are strong threats: information is urgently needed about the death causes (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). RICHARD ZINK reported on IBM monitoring. Released birds apparently move from each release site with preferential directions. The success of release per year is 6.3. If the number of wild born will continue to increase with he trend showed till now, in 2007 possibly the wild born will be as many as the released birds. The expected survival seems to be 21 years. The number of living Bearded vultures in the Alps is among 97 and 116 birds. DANIEL HEGGLIN reported on the result of satellite telemetry with Natura (BG 464) and Folio (BG 463): they have been followed trough Switzerland and Austria (see the more detailed report in this Bulletin). PAOLO FASCE concluded the Meeting, pointing out that, as the situation is still evolving, a strategy has not yet been fixed. Indeed, even if the number of wild born young will reach the number of released birds, and the number of reproductive pairs could be more than 16 in 2007, productivity must be tested for a little longer. And even if productivity will maintain a value near 0.5 in the next 2 years, it will be possible that the releases have to be continued for some times. Maybe release sites will be reduced in number or they will be moved in other places. It will be necessary to decide whether to keep the sites, which have showed a good success, but in this case dispersion could need longer time: moreover the pairs have fixed their territories near the release sites and this has already caused problems with release and also with reproduction, as in Austria or in Haute Savoie. Or maybe it will be better to create new sites, which could help in creating a connection between wild and reintroduced nucleus. Also use of poison must be carefully taken into account, as the need to release in Spain and Sardinia. Therefore, for the moment, prudence is guiding the decisions of the FCBV Board, to avoid every waste of the big human efforts and large amount of money each Bearded vulture is costing.

117 2005 Miscellaneous 117 FCBV s medium term strategy by the board of the FCBV INTRODUCTION The project to reintroduce the Bearded vulture in the Alps officially started in In this project cooperated national organisations, universities, institutions and national parks in Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland as well as zoological gardens in almost all European countries, as well as in Israel, California and Kazakhstan. The undertaking proved to be the biggest, longest, but also one of the most satisfactory and successful reintroduction projects world-wide. After an initial release in 1986, a population of about birds has now spread all over the Alpine arch. In 2004, already 17 pairs were occupying a territory; eight of which produced a clutch, while in 2005 there is a real possibility that the first bird born from free-living parents, Phoenix Alp Action, will produce the first bird of a second generation of wildborn Bearded vultures. This outstanding success is owed to many people. Those who have first conceived the project, those who have prepared its accomplishment, those who worked at the release sites, those who monitored the birds during their development, those who collected data and elaborated them. In addition, many organisations are to be thanked. First of all the Zoological Society of Frankfurt, which financed the project, and without whom nothing would have been possible, some of the national organisations of WWF, the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Hunting Associations, Ministries, APEGE/ASTERS in France, Stiftung Pro Bartgeier in Switzerland and various sponsors. Of utmost importance is the excellent co-operation with numerous zoological gardens (about 50% of all the birds released so far were donated by participating Zoological Gardens), breeding centres and private collaborators, National and/or Natural Parks, observers, volunteers and many others. THE STRATEGY AND ITS GOALS Now that the project is coming to an end in the Alps, the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded vulture has been preparing for its next goals, i.e. to combine the autochthonous and reestablished populations to ensure the survival of the species on the long run, thereby proposing detailed conservation strategies for each region. These goals fit into the overall strategy of the Frankfurt Zoological Society for the survival of the four vulture species in the Mediterranean habitat and keep strictly to the international guidelines of the IUCN: The Bearded vulture and the three other European species of vultures are flagship species and bioindicators, which need to be protected by all means. The conservation of these species implies a long-term programme which will last 20 years at the least. Up to 2015, the goals of the Strategy for the Bearded vulture in Europe are the following: - To bring the use of poison to an end - To increase or stabilize exising populations - To establish links between separated populations - To further and implement legal protection of breeding areas - Endeavour to have vultures recognized and accepted by the general public as an integral part of the European landscape - To increase populations of livestock and wild ungulates, as a guarantee for the survival of wild vulture populations. Other goals such as establishing an overall action plan for the Egyptian vulture, the evaluation of the impact of power lines and wind parks and the carrying out of mitigating actions to minimize losses, and the adaptation of veterinary regulations to suit vulture conservation, should be achieved in less time.

118 118 Miscellanous 2005 Conscious of its responsibility for the Bearded vulture, the Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded vulture intends to pursue four main objectives: - To carry out, and possibly even increase, national and international monitoring, as being the most important instrument for the evaluation of future strategies, and the prevention of possible threats - To protect and strengthen threatened Bearded vulture populations (e.g. Corsica, Crete) - To reintroduce the species in areas where it has become extinct (e.g. Sardinia, Andalusia, the Balkans) - To connect newly established populations with autochthonous ones (e.g. the Alpine population with the Corsican and/or Pyrenean ones) ACTIONS TO BE UNDERTAKEN IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE STRATEGY FOR THE CONSERVATION OF THE BEAR- DED VULTURE BEARDED VULTURE POPULATIONS IN EUROPE After the dramatically decrease of the Bearded vulture population in whole of Europe only a few isolated sub populations had survived in 1986, the year of the first release of captive bred offspring into the Alps. With the exception of the Pyrenean population the decrease of the species continued. The bird disappeared in mainland Greece, only a few pairs remained on Crete and the reproduction of the Corsican population became almost zero. THE ALPINE POPULATION The reintroduced Alpine population started reproducing in 1996, 10 years after the first release. Since then a gradual increase of the number of breeding pairs in the wild could be observed. In all, a total of 20 young Bearded vultures fledged. The mean number of fledged young in the Alpine population (n of fledged young per territorial pair including those which did not reproduce - per year) is 0.38 and the mean breeding success (n of fledged young per breeding pair i.e. the pairs which laid eggs per year) is These parameters, compared to those calculated for the population of the Spanish and French Pyrenees, show that the Alpine population performs well and is expanding. Moreover, it has now become evident that the Alpine population is reaching its capacity to exist as a self-sustaining population. The complete analysis of all monitoring data collected in the Alps is expected to become available at the end of ANDALUSIA The FCBV is involved in a reintroduction project in the Andalucian Sierra de Cazorla. The Bearded vulture became extinct in this part of Andalucia in the 1980es because of poisoning. The first step was the establishment of a breeding centre, the Centro de Cria Guadalentin, directed by the veterinary ALEX LLOPIS DELL, an experienced specialist who worked for many years for the Alpine reintroduction project and the Vienna Breeding Unit. Releases are foreseen in the coming years, but depend on the results of an anti-poison programme. The main goals are: - Prepare the reintroduction (for example to develop a method of monitoring adapted to Andalucia) - Cooperate with local Authorities and institutions (Consejeria de Medio Ambiente, Junta de Andalucia, Gypaetus Fundation, Centro de Cria Guadalentin, Estacion Biologica Donana) - Use birds coming from the European captive breeding programme, and from Pyrenean stock (NEGRO, 1998)

119 2005 Miscellaneous Strengthen the role of the Centro de Cria Guadalentin - Take action against poisoning, which is, by far, the main danger in the region (YANES et al., 2004) PYRENEES - Continue the excellent cooperation across the border - Cooperate with the new Breeding Centre de Fauna Valcallent On the Spanish side of the chain, poison is the main threat and if an effective reduction of its use will not be obtained, there is a real risk of a population decline. At present, some feeding places have been created in suitable areas, but the western regions need attention as poison is evidently in regular use there, while they are easily reached by the birds. At the French side, the reasons of failure need to be clarified in the near future in order to improve productivity and to help the re-colonisation of the north-eastern part of the Pyrenean range. The Centre de Fauna Valcallent will constitute a third breeding centre for the Bearded vulture with a high capacity. Birds from the European Endangered Species programme will be kept there as well as birds originating from the Pyrenees. ALEX LLOPIS DELL will be responsible for this project. ALPS - Bring releases gradually to an end - Implement national and international monitoring - Implement genetic monitoring - Establish connections between the Alpine, Corsican and Pyrenean populations - Create new release sites (e.g. Pre-Alps, Cevennes-Grands Causses) - Include the Slovenian Alps in the international network The criteria underlying the decision as to where and when releases are to be ceased, have as yet not been completely decided upon, but they are multiple. A modelling of the parameters of the population is needed. Present release procedures will, however, not in any way be changed in the next two years. It should be realized that genetic monitoring is a quick and simple tool to gather information in a direct way on dispersal and other characteristics, indispensable for taking the necessary measures in case of trouble (GAUTSCHI, 2001). CORSICA The situation in Corsica has reached a critical stage. Although the number of territorial pairs remained the same for a long time, many changes have been detected both in reproductive performance, and in the availability of food. Nevertheless the existence of still 10 breeding pairs is in fact an unique treasure in respect to the future re-colonising of Sardinia and, even more important in view of genetically aspects. In all likelyhood these birds are closely related to the former and now completely extinct original Alpine population. Therefore, a gene flow to the Alps would be highly welcome. The main changes, compared to previous years, and detected in the last decade, are: - Productivity (see above for definition) did severely decrease from a mean value of 0.31 to the present of 0.11 over the past fifteen years - Substitutions of partners in territorial pairs are effected by immature birds - Stock farming has been greatly reduced, resulting in a considerably lower number of domestic animals in the mountains - Critical situation of the Mouflon population

120 120 Miscellanous 2005 Actions recommended for this region are: - To study the genetic variability and give proof of the once existing relationship with the extinct Alpine population (GAUTSCHI, 2001) - To increase the food supply significantly - To monitor the nests - Observation of feeding places with the help of video SARDINIA The reintroduction of the Bearded vulture on Sardinia is highly desirable. Apart from the activities on Corsica, the following is needed to achieve this: - A feasibility study, to check the likelihood of success - The restocking of the remaining Griffon vulture population and to monitor its result - The installation of a release site - Installation of feeding places, with the purpose to avoid dispersal of young birds - Use of satellite telemetry, also to detect as soon as possible cases of poisoning Also in respect to Sardinia the increase of reproduction on Corsica is of utmost importance. The installation of a vulture restaurant and of a release site should attract young birds from Corsica to develop a local population in the most suitable area of Sardinia. CRETE The population of the Bearded vulture on Crete is of the greatest importance as it represents the last remainder of the original population of the Balkans region, and the only remaining link to the Asian populations. About thirty years ago it still numbered pairs, but is now reduced to only a few pairs. It is in dire need of protection and should be preserved at all costs. The main threats are the new roads, which are built without any consideration for nesting places and in excessive numbers, making hunting possible everywhere. Better co-operation with local scientists and ornithologists should also be aimed for. The actions recommended are therefore: - To support a thorough population census - To give absolute protection to remaining nest sites and restrict accessibility - To study the genetics of the remnant population with a view to possible inbreeding - To monitor feeding places by using video while taking care not to cause disturbance - To carry out public awareness campaigns THE BALKANS In the 19th century the Bearded vulture was a, at times common, breeding bird in most Balkan countries, but by the middle of the last century they had disappeared almost everywhere. For example, recent visits to Albania confirmed their absence from that country. In the border area between Bulgaria and Greece, the population crashed from about 40 pairs to none. The Zoological Society of Frankfurt supported a feeding programme in Croatia, Bulgaria and Macedonia, while campaigning at the same time against the use of poison, promoting sheep farming and the reconstitution of the population of Chamois. FCBV, RSPB, BVCF and other organisations co-operate to help the vultures in the region, but nothing specific is being done for the Bearded vulture. In Bulgaria a feasibility study is being carried out and a project for the Black vulture is being carried out in Macedonia and Greece, which could also benefit the Bearded vulture. It is clear that the Bearded vulture has to be the last species to be reintroduced. The NGO Green Balkans has established a breeding centre in Bulgaria.

121 2005 Miscellaneous 121 Some individuals of the Black vulture have been observed, while possibly moving from the south of France, where they had been reintroduced, in the direction of the Balkans. It is hoped that in future also the Bearded vulture may extend its distribution area eastwards. Surely, conservation efforts must cover all vulture species, as it is known that protecting one species will automatically benefit the others. REFERENCES GAUTSCHI, B. (2001): Conservation Genetics of the Bearded vulture (GYPAETUS BARBATUS). Thesis University of Zurich. NEGRO, J. J. (1998): Genetic variability in the Bearded vulture populations (Pyrenees, Alps) and applications in its conservation and population management. Bearded vulture workshop: November 1998, Iraklio, Crete. p NEGRO, J. J. & M. J. TORRES (1998): Genetic variability and differentiation of two Bearded vulture, Gypaetus barbatus, populations in Europe and implications for reintroduction projects. Biol. Cons. 87, p TEWES, E; M. TERRASSE, H. FREY, J. J. SANCHEZ & W. FREMUTH (2002): Action plan for recovery and conservation of vultures on the Balkan Peninsula. Draft for the Planning Workshop, Sofia, October YANES, M; M. A. SIMON, A. VALERO, J. F. GUITERREZ, A. CARRASCO, F. MOLINO & E. SÁEZ (2004): Estrategia contra los celos envenenados: un plan de choque para la reintroducción del Quebrantahuesos en Andalusia. Consejeria de Medio Ambiente. THIS PAPER SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN THE ANNUAL REPORT 2004, BUT WAS DELAYED. Techniques of release for Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) in Italy by Guido Ceccolini* & Anna Cenerini* THE ORIGIN OF THE INDIVIDUALS So far six fledgling vultures have been released in Italy, one in 2003, one in 2004 and four in Four of them (Andrea, Laerte, David and Fidel) were born in the breeding centre of Semproniano (GR, Italy), managed by WWF of Tuscany and financed by the Province of Grosseto, two of them (Alì and Turchino) came from an attachment. The vultures Andrea, Laerte and David were raised by the pair no. 3, Fidel by the pair no. 7. The parents making up the two pairs are of Spanish origin. Alì and Turchino were born in Falconara Zoological Park (AN, Italy) from eggs coming from Turkey, as a result of an attachment made by the Corpo Forestale dello Stato in the Ancona Harbour on May After their birth the two birds were transferred to the Breeding Centre of Semproniano, where at first they were hand-raised for some days and then were adopted by the pair no.3. All the young vultures at the age of about two months were fitted with a VHF transmitter on a rectrice, with rings and microchips; moreover some remiges were decolourized. Andrea (2003) and David (2005) were also equipped with a satellite transmitter. THE ADOPTION METHOD The first fledgling, the female Andrea, was released through the adoption method. This method was followed only for one year because it involves some negative aspects: first of all a trouble to the wild pair and in the second place it involves the unintentional "publicity of a nesting site. These two factors could have negative repercussions on the breeding success of the few Egyptian vultures pairs still nesting in Italy. *Via Costarella, 2, Semproniano (GR), Italy.

122 122 Miscellanous 2005 THE HACKING METHOD Since 2004 we have started releasing fledglings with the "hacking method. Through this technique Laerte in 2004, Alì and Turchino in 2005 were released in the GRAVINA OF LATER- ZA (Puglia, Italia). David and Fidel were released in Tuscany, in the NATURE RESERVE OF ROCCONI (GR, Italia) in In Puglia Region the three vultures were inserted in a natural hollow while in Tuscany they were inserted in a nest-box overhanging a rock-face. The young vultures were translocated in the hack site at the age of about 60 days and were provided with mice and rats through special pipes which avoided contact with any person. A camera connected to a monitor was placed inside the hollow and the hack box, all the system being supplied with solar cells. Both in the hollow and in the hack box the vultures were inserted from the back and, in order to prevent them from dashing in the air before their time, the front had been closed with a wire net. The net was removed only at the end of the acclimatization phase, 5-8 days later, when the plumage seemed completely developed and the birds showed the intention of flying. Before the net was removed some feeding points were prepared in the neighbourhood of the release site, with rats, mice, rabbits and sheep. YEAR 2003 SICILY The female Andrea was released in a NATURE RESERVE in the province of PALERMO with the adoption method. On July 27th 2003, at the age of about two months, when she weighed approximately two kilograms, Andrea was inserted in a wild pair nest which already housed two young vultures of the same age. A small feeding point had been prepared near the nest. On August 11th Andrea fledged and the satellite transmitter tracked her movements in the neighbourhood of the release site until September 9th. Afterwards the transmitter stopped working and the bird s tracks where lost. YEAR 2004 PUGLIA Laerte was inserted in the hollow of the GRAVINA OF LATEZA on August 2nd 2004, the wide net was removed on August 7th and he fledged five hours later. Three days later he fed for the first time in one of the feeding points. An adult Egyptian vulture was accustomed to visiting the fledgling every day and the two vultures often made an exhibition of themselves with stunt flights. On August 22nd Laerte and the adult vulture disappeared from the hack site. On September 2nd Laerte was undoubtedly sighted together with three adults in the Marettimo Island (Egadi Islands), to the west of Sicily, about 650 km away from his release area. The next day he left the island going southwards with eight adults, towards Capo Horn (Tunisia). YEAR 2005 TUSCANY David and Fidel were inserted in the nest-box in the NATURE RESERVE OF ROCCONI on August 9th On August 17th the front net was removed. Both of them fledged on August 18th. On August

123 2005 Miscellaneous nd both fed in one of the prepared feeding points. In the morning of August 25th David was found dead: scared by the collapse of some rocks near the place where he was spending the night, he had flown in the dark and had bumped against an horizontal branch along the course of the stream, breaking a wing. Fidel continued to stay in the area with movements not further than 1 km and he finally migrated south on September 3rd. YEAR 2005 PUGLIA Alì and Turchino were inserted B.-U. MEYBURG and G. CECCOLINI fastening a transmitter on a young vulture in the hollow of the GRAVINA OF PHOTO: A. CENERINI, ITALY. LATERZA on August 11th The front net was removed on August 21st. Alì fledged on August 23rd and the next day he went and fed in a feeding point. Turchino fledged on August 26th and the following day he fed in a feeding point. On August 30th, maybe because of the bad weather, both of them came back to the nest. Their movements were small and not further than 1-2 km from the hack site. Alì migrated south on September 6th, Turchino migrated south on September 7th. CONCLUSIONS The hacking method, which has been tested by ourselves for the first time with the species Neophron percnopterus, gives good results and therefore we recommend to follow it. On the contrary, the adoption method presents serious problems for a population made of very few pairs. Some remarks about the young vultures: - they are used not to feed for the first 1-4 days after the release even if they have food in abundance in the feeding points; - if they have water at their disposal they drink and take a bath with pleasure; - they are mobbed by almost all the species of birds of prey and crows which sight them, but a little later they make themselves respected with stunt flights and attacks against the disturbers; - they don t move further than 1-2 km from the hacking site; - they take explorative flights at a great height together with other species (snake eagle, peregrine falcon, kestrel, buzzard etc.); - three vultures out of five once fledged have never come back in the nest or hack box, preferring other close sites to spend the night; - they usually migrate south about 14 days after the fledging. THANKS We thank the Assessore alla Conservazione della Natura della Provincia di Grosseto Gian Carlo Bastianini, the WWF Toscana, the Corpo Forestale dello Stato, the Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica; Alessandro Andreotti, Barbara Anselmi, Marco Bedin, Elisa Falchini, Fausto Fabbrizzi, Fulco Pratesi, Paolo Politi. In particular for the release in Sicilia: Università di Palermo, Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e Dipartimento di Entomologia Agraria; Regione Sicilia, Stazione di Inanellamento della Sicilia; Azienda Regionale Foreste Demaniali Regione Sicilia; WWF Sicilia; Bruno Massa, Maurizio Sarà, Massimiliano Di Vittorio, Pino Cortone, Salvatore Falcone, Nicola Diliberto, Antonio Spinnato.

124 124 Miscellanous 2005 For the releases in Puglia: Regione Puglia, Corpo Forestale dello Stato, Servizio CITES; LIPU Birdlife, Tonio Sigismondi, Vittorio Giacoia, Filippo Bellini, Francesco Barberio, Giovanni Zaccaria, Giuseppe Savino, Ciccio Lomastro. For the release in Tuscany: Luca Becherucci, Fabio Cianchi, Pietro D Amelio, Fabrizio Farsi, Fulvio Genero, Roberta Margiacchi, Bernard-Ulrich Meyburg, Patricia Molina Garcia, Luca Passalacqua, Francesco Pezzo. TABLE: Release of Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) NAME ANDREA LAERTE DAVID FIDEL ALI TURCHINO ORIGIN Pair No. 3 Pair No. 3 Pair No. 3 Pair No. 7 Turkey? Pair No. 3 DATE OF BIRTH 28/05/03 26/05/04 27/05/05 31/05/05 30/05/05 adoption 16/06/05 Turkey? Pair No. 3 11/06/05 adoption 23/06/05 RELEASE SITE Sicily Puglia Gravina of Laterza (TA) Tuscany N. R. Rocconi (GR) Tuscany N. R. Rocconi (GR) Puglia Gravina of Laterza (TA) Puglia Gravina of Laterza (TA) TRANSLOCATION 28/07/03 02/08/04 61 days 68 days 09/08/05 74 days 09/08/05 70 days 11/08/05 73 days 11/08/05 61 days REMOVAL OF THE NET - 07/08/05 73 days 17/08/05 82 days 17/08/05 78 days 21/08/05 83 days 21/08/05 71 days DATE OF FLEDGING 06/08/03 07/08/04 70 days 73 days 18/08/05 83 days 18/08/05 79 days 23/08/05 85 days 26/08/05 76 days DATE OF 1 ST FEEDING - 10/08/05 76 days 22/08/05 87 days 22/08/05 83 days 24/08/05 86 days 27/08/05 77 days START OF MIGRATION AND OTHER 09/09/ days last localisation 22/08/04 87 days (sighted in the Marettimo Island Egadi I. on 2 and 3/09/05) 25/08/05 90 days Dead 03/09/05 95 days 06/09/05 99 days 07/09/05 88 days DAVID in the hacking box. Photo: G. CECCOLINI, ITALY.

125 Hubertus 2, BG 446 on 16th of November 2005 Photo: E. HASLACHER, AUSTRIA Bearded Vulture Annual Report 2005 Publisher: Editors: Layout: Print: Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture (F.C.B.V) Wassenaar, The Netherlands H. FREY*, G. SCHADEN* & M. BIJLEVELD VAN LEXMOND** * Department of Pathobiology, Institute of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, A-1210 Wien, Austria. ** FCBV, 46, Pertuis - du - Sault, CH-2000 Neuchatel, Switzerland G. SCHADEN GUGLER cross media Auf der Schön 2, 3390 Melk, Austria Copies available from Department of Pathobiology, Institute of Parasitology and Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, A-1210 Wien, Austria) Copyright by Foundation for the Conservation of the Bearded Vulture Printed according to criteria documents of the austrian Eco-Label low-polluted printed products. gugler cross media, melk, austria; UWZ 609

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