While doing clinical examination of a black vulture chick. © Boumort-Alinyà Team

On last Tuesday, 8 July, the two first black vulture chicks born this season into the wild in the National Hunting Reserve of Boumort were banded. A third one will be banded by the end of this month of July.

The two chicks banded on last 8 July were born into the wild from the pairs fromed by Oriol and Pessonada (an 83 days old chick) and by Olga and Aleix (an 80 days old chick). A third chick born later in the wild, the one from the pair formed by Bruna and Corneli, will be banded by the end of this month of July. The other three pairs that had also tried to breed this season did not succeed in their attempt. Besides, a chick born in captivity in the wildlife centre of GREFA (Majadahonda, Madrid) is planned to join the area through hacking technique, also about the end of this month.

Doing clinical examination and weighting a black vulture chick.

© Boumort-Alinyà Team

The banding operation is done in the shortest possible time and under the maximum security for the chick. We climb to the nest, we take down the chick wearing a cap ─not being able to see reduces the stress of the animal─ and we carry out several operations: a clinical examination, a small blood sample ─that will allow us to know the sex of the vulture─ and a microbiolgy sample are taken, the animal is measured and weighted, banded, equipped with a transmitter ─that will allow us to find him afterwards, once the chick leaves the nest─ and, as soon as possible, we leave him back into the nest (this species, always on a tree of great stand). Quickly, as soon as we go away, parents come back and continue taking care of their chick.

Yellow PVC band in one leg of the chick and GPS transmitter on his back. The operation was carried out with the MAGRAMA banding specialist, Víctor García, and with the REE transmitter sponsorship.

© Boumort-Alinyà Team

With regard to adult and immature individuals, 25 endogenous black vultures (that is, released or born in the area within the framework of the Boumort-Alinyà reintroduction programme), 2 settled exogenous Iberian black vultures, 1 exogenous French black vulture (Quercy, that previously was settled in the area, although in June he was only observed for a few days) and 10 more exogenous Iberian black vultures that are not settled (exogenous means that they come from outside, they have not been neither reintroduced nor born in the area) were observed during the month of June in Boumort-Alinyà area: a total of 38 adult or immature black vultures, 27 of them clearly settled. From the 10 new Iberian exogenous, 8 of them have not got any band and 8 of them have it (LV0 and LV3), that indicate that they are coming from the colony of Rascafría, from the centre of the Iberian Peninsula (it could be that those vultures were only passing through or maybe that some on them may stay and join the colony).

National Hunting Reserve of Boumort. © Boumort-Alinyà Team

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 staff of the Espai Natura Muntanya d’Alinyà and the rangers of the NHR of Boumort. The Estació Biològica del Pallars Jussà carries out several educational actions related to the project.

For further information on this project, please check the section Reintroduction of the Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus) in the Pyrenees on this website.