The import of the first 15 Griffon Vultures from Spain through the project “Life with the Vultures”, was successfully completed.

The import of 15 Vultures from Spain was successfully completed from 19-21 of November, within the framework of the “LIFE with Vultures” project. The new Vultures will enhance the local population of the island, with the ultimate goal of preventing the extinction of the Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) and securing the long-term conservation of the species.

The birds were welcomed at a small event at the old airport of Larnaca by the General Director of the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Costas A. Konstantinou, the representative of the Embassy of Spain, Mr. Manuel de la Iglesias, the LIFE with Vultures project team (BirdLife Cyprus, Vulture Conservation Foundation, Terra Cypria) as well as representatives of the Cyprus Police, the Department of Environment, the Veterinary Services, the State General Laboratory and the Cyprus Hunting Federation.

All Vultures are in good health and were transferred to a special acclimatization cage, of the Game and Fauna Service in Limassol, where they will stay for 5-6 months. Transmitters will also be placed on the birds before their release, in order to monitor their movements and allow immediate actions in case a bird is in danger.

Importing birds from other areas to support local populations is a widely accepted and widespread practice around the world, and aims in preventing the extinction of species at specific areas. Today, we have only 18-20 Griffon Vultures in Cyprus and only 2-3 reproductive couples.

The project’s goal is to increase the population to 45 birds upon its completion in 2023, while the ideal population size for Cyprus is 200 birds.

You can find more information for the LIFE with Vultures project HERE.