More bad news for Egyptian vultures

For those involved in the LIFE Egyptian Vulture Project, 2022 will be remembered as a grim year, in which several of the young birds released in Basilicata became victims of the greatest threats to the conservation of the Egyptian vulture.

The bad news did not end with the poaching attack on Flora, perpetrated in the northern part of Basilicata in May 2022, nor with the collision with a wind turbine that irreparably injured one of Sid’s wings in July 2022 in the province of Potenza.

Diego, the globetrotting vulture released in Basilicata in 2019, died on 4 September. He had spent two winter seasons in Sicily, made incredible journeys in Eastern Europe in the spring-summer of 2021 and then migrated to Chad to spend the winter of 2021-2022 there. Returning to Italy in May 2022, Diego was electrocuted on the pole of a medium voltage power line in the Pollino National Park in Calabria while migrating south. Giuseppe Rocca of StOrCal Ornithological Station in Calabria and personnel from the Carabinieri Forestali (Forest Rangers) intervened at the scene, recovering his body and transferring him to the relevant Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute. Victor, who was released in Basilicata in August 2022, disappeared on 5 September while flying over the Sicilian channel during his migration to Africa. His death is difficult to explain, as his last GPS position showed the young Egyptian vulture located only 18 km from the island of Pantelleria, where he could have stopped and rested. Efforts are being made to find out what actually caused him to fall into the sea.

Diego’s newly found body (photo by G. Rocca)
The pole with disconnector that caused Diego’s death by electrocution (photo by G. Rocca)

Life Egyptian Vulture