LIFE SUPport – Securing a future for Griffon Vultures in Croatia
Duration of the project:
1. 1. 2023. – 31. 12. 2027.
Vulture Conservation Foundation (Netherlands), Public Institution Priroda, Agricultural cooperative of the island of Krk, HEP ODS d.o.o.
The project LIFE SUPport aims to improve breeding and survival conditions for the last remaining population of Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) in Croatia, located on the Kvarner Islands. The urgency and need for such a project have been outlined in the expert background document prepared for the currently pending adoption of the Griffon Vulture Management Plan in Croatia. By tackling the most important threats on their breeding grounds, the current population of 110-130 pairs will continue to survive and possibly increase in number, which is an important first step for the species to re-colonize their historical breeding ranges on the Croatian mainland and connect to other populations of Griffon Vultures in the Alps and Balkans. The most important threats targeted by this project are nest disturbance, lack of food, poisoning and electrocution. The main objectives are therefore:
1. Reducing nestling mortality by minimizing nest disturbance and by improving the rescue and rehabilitation operations of the Beli Rescue Center for Griffon Vultures.
2. Increasing food availability for vultures by improving and expanding the existing network of managed feeding stations and by increasing natural feeding opportunities.
3. Prevention of poisoning events by exploring best preventive measures to avoid the use of poisoned baits, by promoting the use of lead-free ammunition and by capacity building of relevant enforcement agencies for combating illegal wildlife poisoning.
4. Reducing mortality arising from electrocution by applying appropriate mitigation measures on the most important electrocution hotspots.
5. Promoting Griffon Vultures and raising awareness of their threats and needs to local stakeholders, the wider public and government bodies.