Lucrezia, a young three-year-old Egyptian vulture, died electrocuted in a pole of a power line near Altamura

It was a sad day for all those who care about the fate of the Egyptian vulture in Italy when it was discovered that Lucrezia had died electrocuted in the Apulian countryside.

The episode dates back to 16 June 2020 but only on 20 August 2020, thanks to a weak and isolated signal received from the GPS of which Lucrezia was equipped and to the commitment of the ornithologist Dr. Pino Giglio of LIPU, it was possible to find Lucrezia’s remains. Thanks to the intervention and support of the staff of the LIFE Egyptian vulture project and the Carabinieri Forestali, the carcass was delivered to the Zooprophylactic Institute of Puglia and Basilicata.

Lucrezia’s remains

The young Egyptian vulture was born at CERM in 2017 and was released in 2019 in the Murgia Materana Natural Park as part of the LIFE Egyptian vulture project. Both during her winter stay in the province of Reggio Calabria and during her trips between Puglia and Basilicata, Lucrezia had been monitored and supervised by many volunteers and by the Forest Police and various feeding points had been set up for her in the rest and wintering areas.

The pole under which Lucrezia was found

The LIFE Egyptian vulture project, which sees E-Distribuzione engaged as coordinator of the international partnership, aims to reduce the risk of such events by isolating numerous poles located in sensitive areas for the Egyptian vulture.

Lucrezia frequented an area of ​​the Alta Murgia ideal for birds of prey’s nutrition but, unfortunately, it’s an area almost entirely devoid of trees: the poles, therefore, are often the only available perches. In fact, the body of the Egyptian vulture was found just outside the concrete base of a support with a derivation point. It is a structure that has at least two critical points in which, especially when landing or taking flight, birds with medium-large wingspan can be victims of electrocution (touching a grounded plate and, at the same time, the electric cable) .

The death of this Egyptian vulture is a terrible blow for all who have worked hard to give birth to her, to release her and for her life as a free animal. Her death has stolen a precious individual from the very small Italian population of this species.

Lucrezia photographed in August 2019

Operations such as those implemented with the LIFE Egyptian vulture project contribute to concretely reduce the risk of such episodes and should be extended to other sensitive areas for this species.

Life Egyptian Vulture