Do you remember Birba and Clint, born at CERM in May 2020 and released in Basilicata on August 15th? Well, they both successfully completed the migration and reached Mali! They did not travel together but they have travelled an almost identical route that has brought them to what will probably be the main sub-Saharan area in which they will spend the next four years of life.
Clint ha effettuato una migrazione precoce e straordinariamente rapida: dopo la partenza dall’area di rilascio, avvenuta il 26 agosto 2020, ha percorso 3.600 km in soli 19 giorni ed è arrivato in Mali il 15 settembre. Birba, which left for the south on 6 September 2020, reached Mali on 23 September after a journey lasting 27 days and about 3,300 km.
The two young Egyptian vultures crossed Calabria and part of Sicily, crossed the Mediterranean Sea, making a stop on the island of Pantelleria and, finally, crossed Tunisia and Algeria with almost overlapping routes.
Once they started to cross the Sahara, their GPS signals stopped for a long time, in Birba’s case for almost a month. The experts from CERM and ISPRA, who receive the data, and the numerous volunteers who collaborate on the project rejoiced when new GPS signals revealed that Birba and Clint had arrived safely at their destination. Satisfaction was also expressed by the Vulture Conservation Foundation, which provided the GPS radios of the two young Egyptian vultures and bears the management costs.
Instead, there is no definite news of Fabio, the third Egyptian vulture released in 2020 who undertook the migration. The last position indicated him flying over the sea between Sicily and Tunisia: he may not have made it to complete the crossing but hopefully still.
In addition to Birba and Clint, in the sub-Saharan region between Mauritania, Mali and Niger there are also Jane and Leonardo (released under the LIFE Egyptian vulture in 2019) and other Egyptian vulture freed by the CERM Association in previous years (Sara, Tobias and Apollo).