Il Progetto LIFE SAFE FOR VULTURES è in costante contatto con diversi progetti LIFE che promuovono la conservazione dei vulturidi e di altri uccelli necrofagi in difficoltà, promuovendo il networking e la diffusione delle buone pratiche. A seguire delle brevi schede dei progetti con i relativi website e contatti per eventuali approfondimenti:
VULTURES BACK TO LIFE
The Vultures Back to LIFE conservation project aims to return the Cinereous Vulture to the skies of Bulgaria to connect the Balkan’s only population in Greece with other populations in Crimea, the Alps and the Iberian Peninsula.
The most serious problem facing vultures in Bulgaria today is the critically low number of populations. Since the 1960s populations of Europe’s four species of vultures have been under pressure as a result of illegal wildlife poisoning, reduction in food availability and habitat loss, this pressure led to the extinction of firstly the Griffon Vultures followed by Bearded Vultures and finally Cinereous Vultures in the 1980s. Over the last two decades, conservation actions have led to the successful reintroduction of Griffon Vultures to Bulgaria, building on that work this conservation initiative is an international collaboration to restore Bulgaria’s Cinereous Vulture population.
We’re working with our partners to reintroduce captive-bred Cinereous Vultures and release birds transported from Spain to the Balkan Mountains, carry out actions to improve the availability of food and nesting sites for this new population.
LIFE BIRDS ON POWER LINES
The project “Conservation of Endangered Species of Birds by Securing Hazardous Air Pipes in Natura 2000 Protected Areas in Western Bulgaria” has a budget of 2.65 million € and is co-financed by the Life program of the European Union. Its implementation is a natural extension of the long-term policy of Electrodistribution Grid West AD for the preservation of biodiversity – protecting the life of the birds and ensuring the possibility of safe breeding. The duration of the project is 63 months, beginning: 01.10.2017, ending: 31.12.2022.
The Main objectives of the project are:
- Conservation of the populations of endangered bird species by reducing the mortality caused by electric shocks and collisions with overhead power lines
- Providing safe nesting sites for the white stork in Western Bulgaria
- Reducing the conflict of wild birds – power lines and ensuring a more reliable power supply
- Improvement of the electricity distribution infrastructure in the hard-to-reach areas of Western Bulgaria
The LIFE Euro SAP aimed to develop new Species Action Plans (SAPs) and to review and update existing SAPs for a total of 16 species.
The Species Action Plans provide the status, ecology and threats of bird species and are used by the European Commission to undertake the key actions required to improve their conservation status in Europe. SAPS also conditions for effective coordination among the European Commission, EU Member States, the international conventions and non-governmental organizations involved in international bird conservation efforts.
This revision was urgent as several species benefiting from SAPs have seen their conservation status deteriorate lately, and/or have very old SAPs – the latter was the case of the Bearded Vulture, which is covered by a SAP from the end of the 90s, that does not include some of the more recent threats and populations dynamics, including the results from the several reintroduction projects that the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) coordinated.
By early 2018, the finalized plans were ready to be adopted by the European Commission, the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement and participating Member States. In order to promote and monitor SAP implementation across Europe, Africa and Asia, a web-based platform collecting and sharing relevant information was created.
AQUILA a-LIFE intends to contribute to increasing the extension of the distribution area of Bonelli's eagle in the western Mediterranean and reversing its negative population trend, thus supporting the ecological restoration of the ecosystems in which the species was once present. The project intends to work for the recovery of the species in a large geographical area and at the level of metapopulation (rather than at the scale of small local populations).
To this end, the release of specimens is envisaged on the basis of a methodology whose effectiveness has been previously demonstrated during the LIFE BONELLI project, with areas in which these releases have brought positive results (Madrid, Navarra and Avala), and applying the experience accumulated in new areas of intervention such as Sardinia. In this sense, the AQUILA a-LIFE project can be considered as the second phase of the LIFE BONELLI project, as projects for the reintroduction or strengthening of populations of wild species often require various development phases.
Another primary line of intervention of AQUILA a-LIFE will address what are the main threats to Bonelli's Aquila, with particular attention to prevent and reduce cases of electrocution, through the joint work of key sectors such as electricity companies, administrations locals and experts.
Given that Bonelli's eagle shares its problems (especially electrocution) with other species of birds of prey, the latter too will benefit from the actions envisaged by the project, as in the case of the Spanish imperial eagle, the golden eagle and the Biancone, along with others.
In an international collaboration across the Bulgarian and Greek border, the LIFE RE-Vultures conservation project aims to reduce the threats faced by the Cinereous and Griffon Vultures in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains and help the populations of these vulture recovers.
As a result of illegal wildlife poisoning, loss of habitat and a decrease in food availability, vulture populations across the Balkan Peninsula have been under great pressure. In the Eastern Rhodope Mountains which crosses the Bulgarian and Greek border, the Balkans’ last breeding colony of Cinereous Vultures remains in the Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli Forest National Park in Greece, while in Bulgaria, the mountains are home to the country’s only native Griffon Vulture colony. The pristine habitats that make up the Eastern Rhodope Mountains are vitally important foraging grounds for these vultures.
The Life GypHelp project aimed to preserve and increase the Bearded Vulture population in the French Alps by reducing anthropogenic mortality risks, namely the collisions against cables, poisoning (particularly lead poisoning), and disturbance of the breeding sites by human activities.
Bearded Vultures were once found across the mountains of southern Europe and the Alpine arc, but over the course of the 19th and 20th Centuries, the population of this vulture crashed, disappearing from much of its range as a result of the decrease of wild herbivores, changes in farming practices and direct persecution by people. In the Alps, the species went extinct in 1913, when the last bird was shot at Aosta Valley. Thanks to a reintroduction project that began in the 1970s, the species returned to the mountain range. In France, there were only 50 breeding pairs left in 2011, but thanks to reintroduction efforts that followed, the species population gradually increased. However, the equilibrium remained fragile and adult mortality could rapidly reverse this trend, so it was necessary to take further action to protect these birds.
Through tackling the various threats the species face in the French Alps and understanding the effects these actions had on the population, the project helped boost the population of the species while informing future conservation actions through the knowledge gained.
The LIFE GypConnect conservation project aims to strengthen Europe’s Bearded Vulture population and secure the future of the species by reintroducing the species to south-east France.
Bearded Vultures were once found across the mountains of southern Europe, but over the course of the 19th and 20th Centuries, the population of this vulture crashed, disappearing from much of its range as a result of the decrease of wild herbivores, changes in farming practices and persecution by people. Thanks to dedicated efforts, the species has successfully returned to the Alps and the mountains of Andalucia in Spain along with these reintroduced populations the species is also found in the Pyrenees and in isolated populations in Crete and Corsica.
Through the reintroduction of the species in the French pre-Alps and the Massif Central range, a new population will be created that will eventually act as a link to connect the populations in the Alps and the Pyrenees.
LIFE Egyptian Vulture
The LIFE Egyptian vulture project aims to improve the conservation of the Egyptian vulture in Italy (Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily regions) and in the Canary Islands by implementing not only measures to mitigate the impact of the negative factors affecting the species, but also direct actions to promote its demographic recovery and expansion.
LIFE BalkanDetox Life
The BalkanDetox Life project endeavours to address the most pressing conservation issue affecting numerous threatened wildlife species in the Balkan Peninsula by shifting the perceptions and behaviour of all relevant stakeholders, from the decision-makers to the general public and the actual users of poison baits.
The BalkanDetox LIFE project intends to improve the management of poisoning incidents and significantly reduce the mortality of vultures and other affected species caused by the illegal use of poison baits across Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia. The project team attempts to fight the threat of wildlife poisoning by raising awareness and strengthening national capacities
through primarily ensuring real and continued engagement of relevant governmental authorities in combating this issue and labelling it as a socially unacceptable occurrence in the general public’s eyes across seven Balkan countries.
The LIFE IMAGINE project is an integrated LIFE project lasting 7 years (2020-2027) that was created with the aim of supporting the development of an integrated, unified, coordinated and participatory management strategy of the Natura 2000 network in the Umbria region.
The activities carried out within the project will have an important role in the conservation and maintenance of wetlands and agricultural and forest habitats in the regional territory, and will allow the implementation of a wide range of concrete measures to increase the connectivity of aquatic and terrestrial environments, creating ecological corridors that the different terrestrial and aquatic target species will be able to use. The project also foresees concrete conservation measures for many species: large carnivores, birds, amphibians, reptiles, bats, fish, invertebrates.
The actions will affect all 102 Natura 2000 sites in the Umbrian regional territory, but many of the project's actions will have positive repercussions also outside the network.
The IMAGINE project derives from the experience gained in the context of a previous LIFE project completed in 2018 (SUNLIFE, LIFE13 NAT/IT/371, 2014-2018), which had made it possible to highlight the critical elements in the management of the Natura network 2000 and identify the priority actions to be undertaken by integrating them with the various regional policies.
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Roberta Chirichella