2008b: Sources of variation in mortality of the Bearded vulture
Gypaetus barbatus in Europe.
The projects main objectives are to: Strengthen the population of bearded vultures
by creating core populations in the Drme and the Massif Central; and Facilitate bird movements between the Alps and the Pyrenees and thus enhance exchanges and genetic diversity of bearded vulture
However, large carnivores - as well as scavenger raptors such as the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) and bearded vulture
(Gypaetus barbatus) - are still under serious threat, especially from poisoning, even in protected areas.
The bearded vulture
(Gypaetus barbatus) is listed in Annex I of the Birds Directive, and is catalogued as In Danger of Extinction in the Spanish Catalogue of Endangered Species (RD 139/2011).
It is home to 120 different species of breeding birds, and even golden eagles have been spotted, as well as bearded vultures
, eagle owls, alpine hares, snow voles and grass snakes.
I know that the national bird of Israel is the hoopoe, and that Shimon Peres named himself after a nest of bearded vultures
he saw in the Negev desert in 1945.
However, the vulture restaurants' attempts to conserve the endangered population of bearded vultures
(Gypaetus barbatus) in the Pyrenees have had undesirable responses: while the number of breeding pairs increased, the breeding success dropped dramatically.
A recent census carried out by a consortium of conservation groups revealed that during the 1990s, poisoning alone accounted for the deaths of 390 griffon, 238 black, and eight lamerguier or bearded vultures
High in the skies, lammergeyer - bearded vultures
- ride the air currents, taking marrow-filled bones up into the sky before dropping them and smashing them on the ground below, exposing the juicy marrow.
The series also looks at the extraordinary array of wildlife which lives around the river, from the Asiatic brown bears, snow leopards and bearded vultures
which have made their home in the mountains, to the wild elephants that live in the foothills, to the mahseer, the largest freshwater fish in the world, that swim in its waters.
Soaring in the skies above are lammergeyer, or bearded vultures
, frequently hauling massive bones into the air and dropping them to the ground so they shatter and expose their highly-coveted nutritious marrow.
The programme reveals its enormous influence on day-to-day living, how it has shaped Indian culture and religion, and why it attracts a vast array of wildlife including snow leopards, Asiatic brown bears and huge bearded vultures