Another annual winter Griffon Vulture census was completed with success last December, with the involvement of the Game and Fauna Service, the Cyprus Conservation Foundation – Terra Cypria, the SBA Environment Department, the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) and our team of dedicated volunteers. On the day, a maximum count of around 20 individuals was recorded, which tells us that the population remains at the same levels as with previous years.
During the census, watchers were stationed at 12 key look-out points within the home range of the species. The aim of the census is to simultaneously record the number and movements of the vultures across all viewpoints, in order to estimate the current population size of the species as accurately as possible, and to identify potential territorial pairs and record any breeding activity.
© Silvio A. Rusmigo
Among the individuals counted were also two juvenile birds that had fledged a few months earlier. The sight of one pair of Griffons copulating and that of another one displaying territorial behaviour at one of the species’ key breeding colonies marked this year’s breeding season with hope. More good news came our way in early January, when the LIFE with Vultures project team confirmed the existence of a nest as well as another territorial pair at two key breeding sites respectively.
The LIFE with Vultures project team will be closely monitoring the breeding colonies in the months to come until late summer to identify active nests, monitor the breeding activity and hopefully record more fledglings.
Many thanks go to all participants including our dedicated volunteers for their help on the day!