© Vladimir Dobrev
The first-ever project on the Egyptian vulture in Uzbekistan was kicked off in June 2021. The main goal of the project is to reveal the migration routes and wintering grounds of Egyptian vultures from the Central Asian population of the species and to identify threats for the Egyptian vulture from the region. At the end of July, an international team tagged four juvenile birds in the Central Kyzylkum desert with GPS/GSM transmitters and monitored the breeding success of 10 pairs in the study area. In addition, new breeding sites were identified and some important congregation sites for the species were checked.
While heavily studied in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the species status and knowledge about it remain poor in Central Asia. With an estimation of 135 pairs, Uzbekistan is considered one of the strongholds of the species in the region. Nevertheless, proper monitoring of the population, revealing the threats, and study on the migration routes and wintering grounds are urgently needed in Central Asia in order to conserve the Egyptian vulture across the whole region. In line with these needs, the pilot 2021 of the project in Uzbekistan established the working protocols and laid out the foundations for the next breeding season.
The project is supported by OSME, Oriental Bird Club, Hawk Conservancy Trust, Institute of Zoology – Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The state committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Uzbekistan exercised control over the project.
Special thanks to the Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds and Dr. Roman Kashkarov who shared information on breeding sites of the species. The Egyptian vulture New LIFE project and the BSPB supported the project with expertise. Dr. Robert J. Burnside from the University of East Anglia, Anna Ten, and Valentin Soldatov from the Institute of Zoology in Tashkent brought the project to life.