Results from the individual supplementary feeding of the Egyptian vulture


Egyptian vulture, © Svetoslav Spasov,

The individual supplementary feeding is a pilot conservation action in which mobile teams of field assistants of the LIFE project “The Return of the Neophron” regularly provide small quantities of high quality meat in proximity to the breeding pairs of Egyptian Vultures during the breeding season. It is well known that supplementary feeding through feeding stations is an important management tool and can increase the breeding success in the Egyptian vulture but on the other hand the provision of supplementary food at artificial feeding stations may have not only positive but also negative effects, for example by attracting a large number of non-breeding birds resulting in increased interference and a reduction of productivity. The individual supplementary feeding could be beneficial for the conservation of the species especially in small and isolated populations such as the Balkan one.

The report “Individual supplementary feeding of the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) in Bulgaria and Greece (2012-2015)” presents the following results in relation to individual supplementary feeding of Egyptian vulture pairs in Bulgaria and Greece:

• An average of 16 pairs regularly received safe food during the breeding season each year;
• The average productivity in 2014 and 2015 was higher than the before project baseline and compared to the average productivity during the first two years of project implementation – 2012 and 2013.
• The maximum number of food deliveries reached 107 per year just for one pair.
• Food was delivered to specially selected places or close to the nest.
• Average amount of safe food provided per nest was 62 kg per year.
• About 15 local collaborators each year helped for the implementation of this action.

Individual supplementary feeding is not advisable in cases when targeted pairs have many neighboring competitors around such as ravens and griffon vultures. A change in the feeding place is an option to be considered. Collection of data about how often the birds eat and how much of the food provided they consume is essential to study some aspects of their biology such as diet, productivity and behaviour.

Find the full report “Individual supplementary feeding of the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) in Bulgaria and Greece (2012-2015)” here.

LIFE+ project The Return of the Neophron, BSPB, Egyptian vulture, supplementary feeding