Successful release of 3 Bearded vultures in the Vercors massif
Three Bearded Vultures were reintroduced in the Vercors massif last June. This action aims at reinforcing the Alpine population and creating a corridor between the Alps and the Pyrenees.
This reintroduction is in line with a biodiversity restoration policy led by the Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors since the 1980s. It has been the object of a partnership with ASTERS (Conservatoire des Espaces Naturels de Haute-Savoie), VCF (Vulture Conservation Foundation) and the LPO (Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux, Birds Protection League). This conservation plan is also supported by the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, sustainable development and the sea. The Petzl Foundation supports ASTERS in its role of dialogue/cooperation with climbers.
The Bearded vulture is among the 4 great European vultures, with the Griffon Vulture, Cinereous Vulture and the Egyptian Vulture, and is currently in danger. Indeed, numerous threats, being either from human or natural origins, are hanging over this specie.
When they are still in the nest, the babies are exposed to bad weather, poaching, but also predation. The air cables, electric network and ski lifts, and poisonings are also responsible for sizeable losses. The human presence may also be an additional threat, in particular with the disturbance during the incubation period that could cause the loss of the egg or of the chick.
Besides, the bird has to be 7 ou 8 years-old before being able to reproduce. The Bearded Vulture is faithful to its birth or release place, but it is not guaranteed that it will come back there.
The bearded vulture is a bone eater; it thus takes part in the cleaning operation of relief zones by the elimination of carcasses and it therefore prevents the propagation of diseases.
In order to maximize the success opportunities of this reintroduction, le “Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors” has planned to repeat this operation every year until 2015.
The birds have stayed in captivity for a month to be fed and observed, before having finally spread their wings.
In the continuity of other great mountain vultures conservation projects, the Petzl Foundation brought its support to the reintroduction of Bearded Vultures in the Alps. It wishes to be an interface between the climbers and the ornithologists and thus create an atmosphere of dialogue, for everyone’s benefit.
As it is underlined by Benoit Betton, coordinator/leader of the biodiversity district of the Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors “We have to favour the dialogue between the different stakeholders so that everybody could benefit from a preserved environment. It is out of question to forbid the climbing activity but to find common grounds to share the territory. The reintroduction of the Griffon vulture in Archiane in 2007 is the proof that climbers and birds can live together. Indeed, the formers give information to the nature enjoyers/ specialists about the presence of vultures on the site and propose solutions, such as bypassing climbing paths »
To watch the video: http://vercorstv.wmaker.tv/Sequence-emotion-L-envol-des-gypaetes_v73.html
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