We celebrate the scavenger par excellence World Day: the Vulture

Sunday, 6 September, 2015
 
In Oasis Park Fuerteventura we know the importance of protecting and preserving this wonderful species. Today, the Vulture World Day, we want to tell some interesting curiosities about this animal. So that you participate with us in this work!
 
There are two species of vulture in Spain: the Black Vulture, located in vulnerable condition and whose population is concentrated in the Peninsula, and griffon vulture, the most common in our natural areas. Both can reach a length of 3 meters wingspan.
 
The vulture is a scavenger because of their eating habits, it eats death animals usually in an advanced state of decomposition. Something that a priori can be unpleasant, has managed to maintain the balance of our ecosystems in the Iberian Peninsula, since over 90% of the European vulture populations are concentrated in Spain.
 
But important threats have made their population to get reduced in recent years: the power lines, habitat fragmentation by road construction, indiscriminate use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs in animals that serve as food, declining resources food for strict management of animal waste ... Countless dangers that have come to reduce the number of breeding pairs found in Spain your home.
 
After the crisis known to all BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or "mad cow disease"), health declared MER (specified risk material) all ruminant waste should therefore be managed since then in a destruction authorized plant. This greatly reduced the amount of food available for these animals that took advantage of the death of livestock in the areas of extensive or semi-extensive livestock.
 
The bad reputation of the Vulture appeared when, after the implementation of these laws, lurking hungry animals were planted around pastures, waiting for an individual of the cattle died and did not give operators time to remove it. Many said that vultures attacked live animals, but vultures are not hunters. While it's true that in the presence of a dying and weakened animal, standing around waiting for his death.
 
These facts didn't help much that the vultures were loved by society, as acts of poaching came to be held by rural populations. Fortunately, recovery centers, the SEPRONA and environmental agents launched the creation SPAs (Special Protection Areas for Birds) with correction of power lines and dumps, initiatives that undoubtedly became the salvation of this species.
 
The middens are fenced and protected natural areas that have been conditioned to remove animal waste that serve as food for scavengers and carrion birds living in the Iberian Peninsula: the black and griffon vulture, the bearded vulture and the Egyptian vulture. Thus, animals have a place where they always find food and therefore can continue nesting and breeding in the area.
 
Meanwhile, AIZA zoos (Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquariums) are launched public awareness activities, while recovery centers and universities financed housings which are eliminated in the dumps doing toxicity studies and analyzes, in order to ensure that there are no drug residues in meat that vultures consume.
 
Each year the - University of Murcia - which has internship agreement with Oasis Park Fuerteventura, trains  25 veterinarians, biologists, environmentalists and agronomists, with its Master in Wildlife Management, ensuring a pool of professionals sensitized to conservation of native fauna through research to help the Mediterranean Biodiversity"hotspot".
 
 
Some of the titles of the studies conducted by professionals of this university are: biochemical blood of a population of griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus); analysis of antibiotic residues in blood plasma of a population of griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus); and study of the microbiota in the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus). Promote professionals to specialize in these fields of research, it reveals the great involvement and quality training that they equip students as well as informative initiative to protect the native wildlife.
 
Keep fighting to ensure that our wildlife is still alive. You can be part of this great mission! Learn from this species every day in our Free Flight Birds of Prey Show, where you can enjoy the closeness of this species.
 
Happy Vulture World Day to all!