FAP workshop

Flyway Action Plan for the Conservation of the Balkan and Central Asian Populations of the Egyptian Vulture

Torsten Prohl_FAP.jpg

                        © Torsten Prohl

Target species

The target species is the globally threatened Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and the only long-distance migrant in its group. It is the most endangered European vulture which has been rapidly declining within its range and especially on the Balkans where the population has decreased by over 80% in the last 30 years. The Eurasian population is migratory spending the winter (almost half of the year – from October to March) in Africa. The immature birds are also spending the first two-three years of their life in Africa before returning to the breeding grounds. Most of the European population is believed to winter in the Sahel zone, with recent evidences that the Balkan population is wintering in Eastern Sahel (mainly Chad and Sudan, but also Nigeria, Niger, Ethiopia) and even in Yemen. It has been proven that each year fewer birds return to the Balkans from their wintering grounds, which is clearly related to mortality along the flyway. The main reasons for increased mortality are poisoning, electrocution, direct persecution, natural barriers, etc. Besides accelerating the pace of development of the Egyptian vulture FAP, the recently obtained data demonstrate the need to expand the cooperation effort and the geographic range of this action plan to include the countries in the Middle East. The International Flyway Action Plan will be a pivotal tool to guide the international coordination of conservation measures, ensuring survival of the Egyptian vultures from the Balkans, Central Asia and the Caucasus (the last two regions sheltering significant Egyptian vulture populations which partly share the same flyway, and respectively the threats).

Aim

Develop an International Egyptian Vulture Flyway Action Plan (FAP) to secure the survival of the Balkan, Caucasian and Central Asian populations along the flyway and in the wintering grounds.

Range

• Balkans
• Central Asia and Caucasus region
• Middle East
• Africa

Period

Development: August 2014 - December 2015

Proposed timeline for implementation: 2016 - 2020

Approach

The FAP will be developed based on the available evidence about the range of the migration flyway, settlements areas, habitat use and the suspected likely threats for the species along the flyway and in the wintering grounds within the international network of Egyptian Vulture experts developed under the LIFE+ project “The Return of the Neophron” and the Coordinating Unit (CU) of the Raptors MoU.

Selection criteria for sponsored attendees: Because of the limited resources, two-tier criteria will be applied for selection of attendees sponsored under the LIFE+ project “The Return of the Neophron” or the Raptors MoU funding (SSFA/CMSAD/2014/005). Priority will be given to participants from countries located on the flyway (Range States) supported by evidences for migrating Egyptian Vultures from the Balkans or Central Asia. Experts from other countries (e.g. Western Europe) may also be invited considering their high level of expertise on the species. Amongst the Range States, priority will be given to the low incoming countries and those where big congregations of individuals or serious and consistent threats for the species are known. All countries will be also given the opportunity to discuss and improve the final version of the FAP via email correspondence.

Stages

Preparatory stage (March – December 2014; already started) - set an organizing committee; development of detailed concept of Egyptian Vulture FAP; communication of the event; building an operational international FAP working group and preparatory work on the first draft of FAP document and preparatory logistics for the organization of the FAP Workshop in 2015.

Development stage (January – August 2015) - organizing international FAP workshop to develop the FAP document; promotion of the document to different organizations, institutions in the countries along the migration flyway and wintering grounds; communication with government authorities in different countries for the FAP further endorsement (September-December 2015).


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Young Egyptian vulture was tagged with a satellite transmitter in Eastern Rhodopes

Young Egyptian vulture was tagged with a satellite transmitter in Eastern Rhodopes


Habitat model for the Egyptian vulture in Bulgaria and Greece

Habitat model for the Egyptian vulture in Bulgaria and Greece


With a voice for the Egyptian vulture

With a voice for the Egyptian vulture