Egyptian Vulture tagged with a GPS / GSM transmitter was released back into the wild after successful treatment at the Wildlife Rescue Center06.10.2008
The bird was released near the village of Pelevun (Eastern Rhodopes), where Green Balkans has been maintaining a site for artificial feeding of carrion-eating birds for years. The area of the feeding site is the region with highest concentrations of Egyptian Vultures recorded in Bulgaria – in recent years, late in summer and early in autumn, concentrations of more than 20 Egyptian Vultures can be regularly observed there. This was the main reason for the selection of the feeding site for the release of the juvenile Egyptian Vulture. Fortunately, the bird flew off easily and the very next day it was seen flying above the feeding site.
The bird was tagged with a GPS / GSM transmitter, so that its adaptation to the natural living conditions could be monitored and additional data on the migration, wintering sites, and other aspects of the life of the Egyptian Vultures could be gathered. This modern technology makes it possible to receive precise geographical coordinates of the location of the bird every 30 minutes.
As is known, in recent years there has been a sharp decrease in the numbers of Egyptian Vultures globally. Unfortunately, there is a similar trend in Bulgaria. Tracking the bird could give answers to many questions related to the threats to this species.
For the first time in Bulgaria, Green Balkans applies GPS / GSM transmitter for tagging and tracking of Egyptian Vulture. This was made possible thanks to the Spanish company EagleEye® (WWW.EAGLEEYE.ES), as the device was provided free of charge by Luis Escribano and Victor Garcia developing this technology, as well as thanks to the People’s Trust for Endangered Species ( www.ptes.org), supporting Green Balkans’ activities for the protection of vultures.
Early in August, the Directorate of “Rusensky Lom” Nature Park, together with a team of the Regional Veterinary Medicine Service Russe, visited the nest of the juvenile Egyptian Vulture. The on-the-spot examination revealed that the bird had mucus in its oral cavity and respiratory disorders.
It was decided to transport the bird immediately to the Wildlife Rescue Center. The initial examination carried out by the veterinary specialists of the Rescue Center found out that the bird had problems with the upper respiratory organs. This was followed by numerous tests – microbiological, bacteriological, hematological, and parasitological. After the para-clinical tests and the data of the clinical examination the diagnosis was “vitamin A deficiency with a secondary bacterial infection, affecting the upper respiratory organs” (further information and the related documents are available at: http://www.greenbalkans.org/show.php?language=en_EN&cat_id=35&id=414&).
The reason for the poor condition was the depletion or lack of good food in the breeding area of the pair, whose offspring the juvenile Egyptian Vulture was. This assumption is also confirmed by the observations made by the staff of “Rusensky Lom” Nature Park Directorate, showing that the birds feed mainly on garbage at the nearby dumping site and in some cases on animals run over by vehicles.
After two-month treatment and supervision the bird is ready to live again in the wild. We all hope that it will manage to get successfully adapted to the new living environment.
Green Balkans’ team expresses their sincere gratitude to “Rusensky Lom” Nature Park and the Regional Veterinary Medicine Service Russe for their adequate reaction.