The black vulture breeds again in Aragon after more than a century

04/05/2021 at 3:32 PM CEST

The presence in Aragon of two pairs of black vulture (Aegypius monachus) has been confirmed between March 10 and 15. One of them had built and was already occupying a nest in which it had started the incubation, while another was continuing with the construction of the nesting platform. This finding is the confirmation of the presence in Aragon of this great vulture, the largest in Europe, after more than a century of absence in this community.

The finding was made by a team from the Monachus Project, led by the Group for the Rehabilitation of Autochthonous Fauna and its Habitat (GREFA), and dedicated to the recovery of this endangered ghoul of prey; and technicians and Nature Protection Agents of the Government of Aragon.

Both breeding pairs come from the existing colony in the Boumort Hunting Reserve (Lleida), where GREFA, in collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya and other conservation entities, have carried out a reintroduction program of the black vulture for more than ten years, reports Europa Press.

Thanks to this program, they have managed to establish the first reproductive population of the species in the Pyrenees, formed, to date, by almost twenty pairs.

The birds of the two pairs found nesting in Aragon are identified: one is made up of the male Muntaner, reintroduced in 2014 in the Pyrenees, and the female Viliana (in the first photo of this information), born in the Catalan colony of Boumort, in 2016. The other couple is formed by the male Pline, and the female Montenegro, from the French population of black vulture, and who were already breeding in Boumort before starting to do it in Aragon.

This unexpected finding has been carried out with the support of the General Directorate of Natural Environment and Forest Management, the Government of Aragon, and the Generalitat of Catalonia.

The black vulture is listed under the category of ‘Vulnerable’ in the Spanish Catalog of Threatened Species.

If the two nesting pairs in the Huesca pre-Pyrenees successfully conclude their breeding season by raising their respective chicks, Aragon would become the third autonomous community, after Catalonia and Andalusia, where the four European species of vultures breed, that is, the black vulture, the griffon vulture, the Egyptian vulture and the bearded vulture.

GREFA’s ‘Monachus Project’ seeks connect the large colonies of black vulture in the center and the south of the Peninsula Iberian with which they are being created in France and other countries.

To achieve this, this NGO not only operates in the Pyrenees. A good example of this are the black vulture releases undertaken in 2017 in the north of the Iberian System, specifically in the Burgos sector of the Sierra de la Demanda, where in 2020 the first chickens were born for more than fifty years.

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