Foraging movements of Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus): implications for supplementary feeding management

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Title: Foraging movements of Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus): implications for supplementary feeding management
Authors: Zuberogoitia, Iñigo | González Oreja, José Antonio | Martínez, José Enrique | Zabala, Jabi | Gómez, Imanol | López-López, Pascual
Research Group/s: Zoología de Vertebrados
Center, Department or Service: Universidad de Alicante. Centro Iberoamericano de la Biodiversidad
Keywords: Capture–mark–recapture | Bovine spongiform encephalopathy | Home range | Foraging displacements | Vulture restaurant | Spatial ecology
Knowledge Area: Zoología
Issue Date: Jun-2013
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Citation: European Journal of Wildlife Research. 2013, 59(3): 421-429. doi:10.1007/s10344-012-0687-2
Abstract: The outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy provoked restrictive European sanitary legislation that forced farmers to remove livestock carcasses from the wild. This had serious repercussions for the scavenger raptor guild. Against this background, we developed a study to analyse the foraging movements of Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in northern Spain. We ringed 241 griffon vultures with alphanumeric plastic rings in Biscay between 2000 and 2011 and set experimental feeding stations in 24 sites over an area of 10,614 km2; recording re-sightings of the ringed vultures between 2005 and 2012. Using these re-sighting records, we tested whether birds randomly moved long distances whilst searching for food, or if vulture re-sightings were restricted to a few feeding sites within a limited area. We summarised 329 field-work days, with an average of 2.06 ringed vultures re-sighted per day, accounting for 1,017 re-sightings. Adult vultures were detected in three separate foraging nuclei within the study area. Movements out of the main foraging nuclei were statistically less frequent than would be expected if adult vultures accessed all resources at a similar rate. Once established at breeding areas, subadult vultures behaved in the same way as adults. Our results suggest that vultures’ home ranges are largely restricted to zones close to breeding areas. This has important consequences from a conservation point of view, suggesting that management decisions should take into consideration spatial scale effects.
Sponsor: P. López-López is supported by a ‘Juan de la Cierva’ postdoctoral grant of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (reference JCI-2011-09588).
ISSN: 1612-4642 (Print) | 1439-0574 (Online)
DOI: 10.1007/s10344-012-0687-2
Language: eng
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Rights: The final publication is available at Springer via
Peer Review: si
Publisher version:
Appears in Collections:INV - ZV - Artículos Científicos

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