No miracle this time...

06.04.2013
Lazarus (HOS/L. Sidiropoulos)

The 2nd of April was a sad day for the project team, but also for Greek biodiversity and the world of conservation in general. Lazarus, the Egyptian vulture HOS team had tagged last April after being found poisoned in Meteora, and that we had all fervently followed through the project's website in his migration trip to Africa, was found once again poisoned in northern Greece. Only this time he didn't make it.... He died in the last stretch of his incredible trip back home from Chad, only 200 km away from his final destination in Meteora, where he would have hopefully found a new pair and raised 1-2 chicks. Instead of that, he ran into a poison bait, illegally placed to kill foxes or wolves. Lying next to him, our researchers found a second Egyptian vulture, also adult, also on its way to its breeding grounds.

This is a heavy blow to the efforts to save this species from extinction in Greece, but also in the Balkans. In one single incident, we have lost 5% of the species breeding population in Greece. And this incident was discovered solely because Lazarus was tagged and his location could be followed practically to the meter on a daily basis. The actual magnitude of the losses - of Egyptian vultures, but also of many other endangered wildlife species-  due to illegal use of poison is difficult to estimate due to its "silent killer" nature, but examples such as this speak for themselves.

The fight against poison is not an easy one as it involves a wide range of socio-economical parameters and certainly needs the joint efforts of all parties involved (livestock breeders, hunters, etc) with that of the public authorities at the lead. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the present period in Greece, where authorities together with society, seem to be indifferent towards the problem.

From our side, we can only say that we will not give up hope and will carry on with this fight against one of the worst scourges for wildlife conservation.

 

 

 

Second dead Egyptian vulture (HOS/L. Sidiropoulos)
The scene of the crime (HOS/L. Sidiropoulos)
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Where is B14?

Where is B14?

The breeding performance of the Egyptian Vulture population in Bulgaria is among the highest in Europe

The breeding performance of the Egyptian Vulture population in Bulgaria is among the highest in Europe