Monitoring activities resumed in Italy after the interruption caused by the emergency COVID-19

The monitoring activity plays an important role in the LIFE Egyptian vulture project because it allows to evaluate the effectiveness of the conservation actions implemented and to adopt the most appropriate measures to maximize their effectiveness. Normally the monitoring starts in March, when the adult Egyptian vultures settle in the nesting areas, and it keep going on until the fledging of the young and the migration to Africa

In addition to checking known breeding pairs, monitoring is meant to find new pairs in the area of ​​historical presence of the species, to check the use of feeding points, to acquire information on habitat preferences by the vultures followed by GPS equipment and the presence of any threats in the most frequented areas.

During 2020, the restrictions imposed by the health emergency due to COVID 19 prevented the inspections during the settlement phase of the couples and the census at the same time.  In recent years everything was organized at the beginning of May to search for any non-breeding subjects.

ISPRA staff engaged in monitoring in June 2020

Monitoring was only able to resume in June, when the restrictions on circulation on the national territory ceased. Fortunately, the inspections carried out by ISPRA staff with the support of the CERM Association and numerous volunteers made it possible to make up for lost time.

In particular, the establishment of reproductive couples already present last year has been ascertained, photo traps have been installed to check the attendance of the carnai by the Egyptian vulture, the areas frequented by Egyptian vultures tracked using GPS instruments were inspected and monitoring was organized simultaneously in Puglia, in correspondence with the Alta Murgia National Park. The latter activity was coordinated by the CERM Association, with the aim of verifying the presence of non-breeding individuals in an area potentially very suitable for the species.

Life Egyptian Vulture