Workshop Identifies Critical Threats to Old World Vultures in the European Region

Abu Dhabi/Extremadura, 9 November 2016 - The second Regional Workshop to develop a Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP) took place from 25 to 29 October at Monfragüe National Park in Extremadura, Spain. It focused on four species of Old World vultures, a term used for vultures that occur in the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe, collectively regarded as the Old World.

Extremadura is one of the most important areas in the world for vultures, holding impressive populations of Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus (900 breeding pairs), more than 3,000 pairs of Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvusand about 170 pairs of the endangered Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus. The European Regional Workshop for the Vulture MsAP focussed on these species plus a fourth, the Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus, which also occurs in the region.

Vultures are threatened by a wide range of human activities.  They utilize vast home ranges, frequently crossing over political boundaries, which is why international cooperation is vital to their conservation.  Five key threats particularly relevant for the European range of the Vulture MsAP were identified at the workshop: poisoning by toxic baits; collision with power lines; electrocution on power poles; collisions with wind turbines; and, reduced food availability.

Given the alarming decline in vulture numbers, the mandate to develop the Vulture MsAP under the Raptors MOU was established by CMS Parties via Resolution 11.14 in November 2014.  The mission is to bring together representatives of Range States, partners and interested parties, to develop a coordinated Action Plan, with the aim of:

  • Halting current population declines in all fifteen species of Old World vultures covered by the Vulture MsAP;
  • Reversing recent population trends to bring the conservation status of each species back to a favourable level; and
  • Providing conservation management guidelines applicable to all the 124 Range States covered by the Vulture MsAP.

Held in conjunction with a Flyway Action Planning Meeting for the Cinereous Vulture, the workshop was organised by the Vulture Conservation Foundation, in cooperation with the Coordinating Unit of the Raptors MOU.  Additional financial and in-kind support was generously donated by Diputación de Cáceres, Dirección General de Turismo, Dirección General de Medio Ambiente from the Junta de Extremadura (Regional Government of Extremadura) and the National Park of Monfragüe. This welcome sponsorship enabled participation by morethan 70 delegates representing 50 different organizations from 25 countries.


A further Regional Workshop to promote and facilitate the development of a comprehensive Vulture MsAP is scheduled to be held in Mumbai, India from 29 to 30 November to cover the Asian range of the Old World vultures.  For any inquiries related to the Vulture MsAP please contact the Coordinating Unit of the Raptors MOU at [email protected].

Last updated on 25 November 2016