Martine RazinAssociation Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux
Research Items (5)
We analyse the causes of mortality for the Bearded Vulture in Europe. Shooting (31%), intentional poisoning (26%), collision (18%) and unintentional poisoning (12%) were the most important causes of mortality. No differences were found between sexes or age classes (non-adults and adults) for any of the causes of death. When the four main categories of mortality were grouped in periods of 3 years from 1986 (coinciding with the species' reintroduction to the Alps) to 2006, mortality showed significant temporal variation. The results suggest that while the number of collision/electrocution deaths has remained stable or increased slightly, the number of cases of shooting has declined during the last 6 years, while at the same time intentional and unintentional poisonings have increased. We found substantial differences between causes of mortality recorded for birds located by chance (75% related to shootings and collisions with powerlines) and radio-tagged birds (86% related to intentional and unintentional poisoning), suggesting biases in methodology for monitoring mortality. The results suggest that human persecution continues to be the main factor contributing to unnatural mortality for European Bearded Vultures. Future management actions should concentrate on the creation of protocols for the collection of carcasses and detailed analyses to determine and mitigate anthropogenic sources of mortality.
- Mar 2006
The bearded vulture is a threatened species for which human disturbance has been suggested as an important factor potentially influencing breeding success. Additionally, disturbance remains one of the few factors that is possible to control through directed policy. We evaluated the effect of human activities on the behaviour and breeding success of bearded vultures breeding in the French Pyrenees. Human activities influenced bearded vulture behaviour (primarily through a decrease in nest attendance), but this effect varied in relation to the type of activities and the distance to the nest. Very noisy activities and hunting most frequently provoked nest unattendance even when occurring far (>1.5 km) from the nest. People on foot or cars/planes only affected bearded vulture behaviour if close (<500–700 m) to the nest. We also found a significant relationship between human activities and vulture breeding success: the probability of failure increased with the frequency of human activities. In particular, there was a significant relationship between the probability of failure and the frequency of very noisy activities. We discuss the implications of our results for management schemes and conservation of this species.