The Griffon Vulture is a large species and very grateful for the application of satellite telemetry. In 2012, the first two Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) were equipped with satellite transmitters and monitored for some time. Argus transmitters were then used. The continuation of the program began in September 2018. with the use of transmitters from the company “Ornitela”. By 2021, a total of eight Griffon Vultures were in this program. We are currently following two, and next to them, three Vultures with transmitters set up by colleagues in Bulgaria, which are most likely from Serbia.
On this page you have the opportunity to keep track of their movement (Note: for better viewing, click on the photo):
Griffon vultures Vasilije and Nebojsa, with wing markings 41 and 43, were rescued at the end of 2019 and spent the winter together at the Vultures Center on Uvac. 7.6.2020. they were released in the Special Nature Reserve “Uvac”. In addition to the standard markings, the Birds of Prey Protection Foundation also equipped them with satellite transmitters and they are included in the monitoring program using satellite telemetry.
Both birds hatched in the spring of 2019 on Uvac. Nebojsa was found in the lake and was rescued by a ranger of the “Reserve Uvac”. He is marked with a yellow-blue wing mark on the left wing with the number “43”.
Vasilija is a young female who was found exhausted and released after recovering at the Vulture Center. On the left wing she wears a yellow-blue mark with the number “41”. “Godparents” of Vasilija are her children from the “Ego” from Belgrade.
Satellite transmitters for these birds are provided from the project of the Birds of Prey Protection Foundation: “Management of the Griffon Vulture Population (Gyps fulvus) in Special Nature Reserves: “Trešnjica River Gorge” and “Uvac”, by applying marking and monitoring programs using satellite technology and video surveillance “, at the competition of the Ministry of Environmental Protection in 2019, for the allocation of funds to support civil society projects in the field of environmental protection.
On 25.12.2020 We noticed that Nebojsa was in trouble. He moves poorly, the temperature drops. On the same day, it was reported to the Rangers of the “Reserve Uvac”, who arrived in the morning near the location on Pester where we sent them. Unfortunately, a great storm hit Pester, so it was impossible for them to reach the bird. On the 05.01.2021. they managed to find Nebojsa, who was dead. It is still not clear what the cause of death is and the results of the autopsy are awaited.
“Marija mts” is a young female who has the third GPS device. It was financed by the Telecommunications Company “Telekom Srbija” a.d. as a support for the protection of nature and the aspect of socially responsible business of our national company. She was hatched on Čolovic’s rock on Zlatarsko Lake in 2017, when she was marked. After a while, she was found exhausted and on the January 24, 2018. she was placed at the Uvac Birds Center. She was released on the September 1, 2018. on the Uvac. For easier identification, the bird has a yellow-blue marker marked “06”.
– The Griffon Vulture “Luka” is the first bird in the satellite telemetry program from the colony on the river Trešnjica. Luka is a young male that hatched in the spring of 2019. He was found exhausted near the river Drina on the 27.10.2019. He recovered and when the conditions for returning this bird to the colony on Trešnjica were met, we tried to release him on the 7.3.2020, but Luka, on a rainy day, did not want to take off.
However, 20.03.2020. year, Luka was released again and he took off. Since then, he has been included in the monitoring program and within the project of the Birds of Prey Protection Foundation: “Management of the Griffon Vulture Population (Gyps fulvus) in Special Nature Reserves: “Trešnjica River Gorge” and “Uvac”.
Shortly after his release, Luka crossed the Drina and went to Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was stationed in the canyon near Olovo. He moved, but not much, and since he behaved strangely, we informed our friends from Blagaj and the NGO “Novi Val” and “Naše ptice”, with whom we have long-term cooperation and who have good conditions for accepting Griffon Vultures. Colleagues took over Luka on the 12.04.2020. An examination by a veterinarian showed that he was healthy, but unfed. Luka is placed in a shelter in Blagaj near Mostar and eats well.
On the 5.9.2020. for the “International Vulture Awareness Day”, we tried to release Luka, but without success. He is still in the shelter in Blagaj.
In mid-December 2020, we initiated the procedure for returning Luka to the country of origin – Serbia. Unfortunately, 05.01.2021. Colleagues from the Eco Center Blagaj informed us that Luka died in the aviary. The cause of death is unknown.
– The GPS device which was financed from the project of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, under the project of The Bird of Prey Protection Foundation: “Management of the Gyps fulvus population using satellite technology”.
The device is located on the Griffon Vulture nammed “Zlatar” with a red-yellow wing marker number “02”. He was found exhausted on the 24.09.2017. near the Kragujevac, place Botunje, and placed at the Uvac Birds Center. On the 1.9.2018. he was released in the Uvac.
Zlatar flew pretty well from the beginning. He moved around Uvac and Pešter for almost two years, and it was noted that he also visited Trešnjica. From 14.07.2020. year Zlatar went on the west. In a couple of months, he crossed the entire Balkan: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Slovenia. He also visited Italy and Austria. He spent some time in the Grossglockner region of the Alps. When the winter of 2020 began, Zlatar descended through Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania to Greece.
06.11.2020 We noticed that we had an “urgent situation” when we noticed that the temperature shown by the transmitter had dropped sharply and that the device was in an unnatural position. It is immediately located near the “artificial pool” on a mountain in Greece. We urgently informed our colleagues from Greece, as well as Bulgaria, with whom we jointly supervise the Griffon Vultures in the “poison detection detective” program in the Balkans.
Colleagues from Greece reacted swiftly! They were already at the location within two hours, but, unfortunately, it was too late for Zlatar. The bird was in the water, dead.
Piroćanac did not make it.
He was hatched in the Belgrade’s Zoo garden and we wanted to give him the chance to be free. It was planned to be one of the first Griffon Vultures released on Stara Planina in 2016, in the program of returning the Vultures on this mountain. That is why he got name Piroćanac. The program was not then supported by the state administration, and Piroćanac remained in the zoo for two years. At the beginning of June 2018, during the organization of the program of satellite tracking and monitoring, the transfer of Piroćanac to Uvac was stopped due to unreasonable administrative requirements. With the support of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the bird got the necessary documents and he was transferred to Uvac with a big delay in the middle of August. We equipped him with a satellite transmitter and released on the Uvac, along with two other Zlatar and Marija mts, on the 1.9.2018., where are the best conditions for him to integrate with other Vultures. There was no point in postponing the release, because the other two birds from the cages were ready, so the Piroccanac would remain alone in the cage. There was also a winter period coming, when Vultures are under pressure to survive. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to adjust and integrate with the other two birds in cage. By satellite tracking and video surveillance on the feed place, we saw that he did not integrate into a flock of Vultures and we wanted to get him back to the cage. The Rangers of the Uvac Reserve were doing their best, but the Pirocanac was elusive. At one point he went to Mileševka and Pašter, which gave us hope that he would succeed. The Vultures from Uvac often visit because there are plenty of cattle and potential food.
When the Rangers found him, he was exhausted, and according to the procedure, he was immediately taken by the veterinarian, who found that the bird was good, that he needed ti eat, and that he would recover quickly, so he was returned to the cage. The bird was not hospitalized at that time and in such a bad condition he was returned to the cage of the Uvac Reserve. Unfortunately, this was obviously not a good estimate. The Piroćanac died in the Center at Uvac, although he accepted some food.
This is the third case that a Vultures are dead in this way. We hope that this bad experience will help to resolve the issue of veterinarians and hospitalization of endangered bird species, so that these unnecessary losses will not occur again.
“Igor” is a male Griffon Vulture who hatched in 2017 at Uvac and marked by the Foundation’s Vulture Marking Team. He was soon found with a wing injury and transferred to the Palić Zoo. After a two-years recovery he was returned to Uvac and released on 7.9.2019. during the celebration of the “International Vultures Awareness Day 2019” in Uvac. He brought a satellite transmitter funded by the project: “Management of the Griffon Vultures Population (Gyps fulvus) at Special Nature Reserves: “Trešnjica River Gorge” and “Uvac” through the use of marking and monitoring programs using satellite technology and video surveillance”, which was supported by Ministry of Environment Protection call for funding for support to civil society projects in the field of environmental protection in 2019. He is marked with a red-yellow wing marker with the number “01”.
Unfortunately, from 20.11.2019. we do not follow Igor. That day he was able to “bite” the Teflon tape, which held the transmitter, which we were able to find it.
About the “Dobrila”, the Griffon Vulture is known almost everything. She hatched on Uvac in the spring of 2018. Marked in early June. After several months, she was found on the border of Turkey and Syria, where she was rescued by Turkish soldiers. After that, she was rescued several times to eventually be transported by plane to Serbia. On the 25.05.2019. she was released on Uvac, equipped with a satellite transmitter, and entered the monitoring program.
You can find the whole story HERE … »
On the 05.12.2019. ee were struck by the news that Dobrila had died. She was found by the Rangers of JP “Uvac Reserve” Ltd, based on GPS coordinates we had with by the satellite transmitter and after our report that the bird was not moving and that the temperature had dropped sharply.