It has been five years since the first individuals were released. We can look back on five intense years, as a time trial where the black vultures have broadly demonstrated their ability to function in the same Pyrenean environment they became extinct more than a century ago.
Thanks to the effort regarding the rehabilitation, cession, acclimatization, release and daily tracking of the reintroduced individuals, the following goals have been achieved:
● The image of the four European scavenging species sharing a carcass in these border mountains. There are very few continental local districts that have the privilege –or just the option– of having at the same geographical point in time the Bearded Vulture, the Black Vulture, the Griffon Vulture and the Egyptian Vulture. In the Lleida Pre-Pyrenees (Catalonia, Spain), there is not only this coincidence but also all the four species breed in the same area.
● The second milestone is having got the Black Vulture as a breeding species in the wild in these mountains just 3 years after the release of the first specimens, as well as three fledged chicks.
● To increase in an exponential manner the flow of black vultures through the Pyrenees mountain range, creating a connection between the new French colonies (Cévennes, Baronnies) and the traditional ones from the South West of the Iberian Peninsula.
● The fourth one is, thanks to this exchange, having got exogenous individuals settled in this incipient Pyrenean colony.
At the end of 2012, the colony has got five pairs of reproductive age and a total of 20 individuals. In the coming years we should double that number if we want to ensure the feasibility of the Pirenean colony, in the mid- and long-term. What is the main obstacle to make this happen? The lack of sufficient donated black vultures to be released. This is the bottleneck that has constrained the programme, as the estimated number of 10-12 individuals per year has been reduced to only 6 (38 in all).
The reintroduction project of the Black Vulture in the Pyrenees is promoted by the Departament d’Agricultura, Ramaderia, Pesca, Alimentació i Medi Natural de la Generalitat de Catalunya and by the Fundació Catalunya – La Pedrera. GREFA and Trenca are involved in the assisment and implementation of the Project, toghether with the Alinyà Natural Site staff and the rangers of the NHR of Boumort.
You can find further information on the section reintroduction of the Black Vulture in the Pyrenees and on the section videos in this website.