Vultures tracked as part of UMH study

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BEARDED VULTURE: Europe’s rarest.

ELCHE researchers have been tracking 19 bearded vultures, also known as the lammergeier.

The Department of Applied Biology at the Miguel Hernandez University (UMH), collaborated on the research with the University of Lleida and is the first comprehensive study, conducted with GPS technology, to provide detailed information on the most threatened European vulture species. 

The vultures have been monitored between 2006 and 2014, which has provided more than 66,000 GPS locations. The research found that territorial adults exploited much smaller areas (63 square kilometres) with respect to non-territorial birds. Another finding of the study is that half of the foraging areas are outside of protected areas. This poses a potential risk to the viability of the species, since many current conservation threats such as illegal use of poisoned bait, occur in these areas.

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Spain has around 130 breeding pairs and is home to more than 60 per cent of the European population of bearded vultures.

The study and research hopes to improve decisions made in regards to the conservation of the endangered species.

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