The number of vultures on the Costa Blanca has rocketed more than treble in 13 years.
After a ban lasting many years, livestock farmers in the Region of Murcia Costa Blanca are now authorised to leave the carcasses of dead animals in the open, with certain limitations, providing an important supplementary source of food for scavenging birds of prey, in particular vultures.
2006 saw the number of vultures known to be living in four colonies in the Region had drastically reduced to only 185.
The drop in numbers followed a ban on leaving dead livestock in the open which was introduced in 2002, at the height of the BSE epidemic. In 2009, when the crisis was over, the EU passed a new authorizing the controlled abandonment of the carcasses of domesticated animals.
It’s only now specific details of how and where the practice is to be permitted in Murcia been finalized by the regional government.
Although, the vulture population has flourished, with the number of birds has risen to 596 in Murcia which included mating pairs last year.
There are already two locations in Murcia where additional food supplies are made available to vultures in this way, one owned by the regional government in the Sierra de Mojantes.
The other is a privately-owned site in Casas Nuevas, in the area of Mula, and the new laws make it possible to create more if the population grows further.
The obligation to preserve these scavengers is supported in Spain, which is home to over 90 per cent of all vultures living in the wild in Europe.