Griffon Vulture to colonize Majorca

It is the very first time (in historic data) that Griffon Vulture colonizes an European island by natural ways.

Majorca is a 3.600 square kilometres island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the major Balearic Island, in Spain. Despite it is a main holiday destination it is preserving a variety of wildlife within its territory.

There are two species of vultures that currently breeds in Majorca; Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus). Both species have small but stable populations in the Majorcan mountainous areas. Very soon it could be a third species of nesting vulture in the island.

It was October 30th, 2008 when up to 800 Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) were recorded in south-eastern Spain. They mainly were juveniles and some of them were marked with yellow wing-bands. At this time a low-pressure area was accelerating winds from high to low pressure areas. One day later, a 70 individuals large flock was recorded in Menorca. It was the first record of this species in this small Balearic Island. In November 12th, 2008 numbers of Griffon Vulture were detected in Majorca. Since that day until today there a numerous group of Griffon living in Majorca.

In November 2010 the Balearic Island Regional Government carried a census out and determined a total population of 46-59 Griffon Vulture in Majorca living in four different areas along the island’s main range of mountains. Griffon Vultures were located in all this range of mountains although bigger flocks (12-17 individuals) were found between Pollença and Valldemossa.

Any nest have been located yet although it seems clear that this population will breed soon in Majorca. Maybe 2012 will be their year and some couples try to definitely stablish in Majorca!!

More information about this matter in Quercus nº 311, January, 2012.

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