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Mallorca’s Black Vultures (Aegypius monachus)

black_vulture

Mallorca is the only remaining island in Europe where the Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus) is still native. When we moved to Mallorca, 22 years ago, there were only five or six pairs known to exist here. The Mallorcan Black Vulture had become an endangered species.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Black Vulture Conservation Foundation (BVCF), a non-profit organisation that has been working to preserve Black Vultures and other birds of prey throughout Europe since 1986, the Mallorcan Black Vulture population now is said to stand at 125 individual birds, including 15 reproductive pairs.

Black Vultures build their nest on top of high trees, usually the Aleppo pine tree. Once the breeding time has come, the birds will mate several times before an egg is laid. Black Vultures are strictly monogamous birds. Once a pair has mated, they will stay together for their entire lives. A very strong bond exists between two mated vultures, which is evident in their social interaction. Have a look at a Black Vultures nest and its two inhabitants:

The video dates from March/April 2007. You can see live nestcam footage for the asking at the tourist office at the monastery of Lluc.

You can visit the BVCF website and watch some more nestcam videos. In fact, you can visit the foundation’s centre near Campanet for a guided tour. In their spacious grounds they keep some Black Vultures to prepare them for being released or, if flightless through injury, to be mated for breeding purposes. Guided tours are held in English and/or German on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Wednesdays the tours would be held in Spanish and/or Catalan). Telephone for reservations prior to your visit on 971.516.620.

The photo was taken near Campanet, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 4th, 2009. The time was 12:10:04. The video was taken from the BVCF website. It originates from a nestcam permanently installed above a Black Vulture nest in Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana mountain range. Muchas gracias.

4 replies »

  1. Please give me the address or telephone number of the conservatory for the black vulture as i wish to visit.

    • The address is Finca Son Pons s.n., 07310 Campanet, Islas Baleares, Spain. The telephone no is 971.516.620. There is Open Doors every Monday.

  2. Can you email me if the Black Vulture Conservation Foundation in Campanet is still there?
    If so, is Juan Jose still working there?
    Many thanks,
    Derek Hayward

    • Hi Derek,
      I am sorry but I have no better information on the BVCF in Campanet than anybody else. I guess they are still active, at least I have not heard otherwise. Here is the telephone number as published on their Facebook page: 0034 971 516 620. Both their websites http://www.bvcf.org and http://www.balkanvultures.org appear to be dormant. I don’t know about Juan José, either. Greetings.
      Klaus

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