After more than two years of satellite tracking of our Griffon Vulture Zlatar, unfortunately, we got bad news. The Zlatar died in Greece!
Until recently, he cruised the entire Balkans ( more about it here … » ), he even spent some time in the Alps, only to descend to a vulture colony in Greece about a month ago.
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.
The remains of the Griffon Vulture were taken to Athens for an autopsy. We still don’t know for sure what the cause of death was, but five days ago, Griffon poisoning with a Bulgarian transmitter, Kelly, was reported in the region. Therefore, there is a well-founded suspicion that Zlatar was also poisoned. However, we will wait for the results of the toxicological analysis of the competent institutions in Greece.
Regardless of the news, which shook us all, it turned out that there was excellent cooperation and fast communication with colleagues from Bulgaria and Greece regarding the supervision of vultures in the satellite telemetry program, which is crucial for further work on the protection of vultures, but also other species that are endangered by both illegal poisoning and other factors due to which they suffer. It is certain that a large number of our vultures suffer when they leave Uvac, and we can only assume the exact number. Our activities are aimed at eliminating the risk and reducing mortality of these endangered species.
“Famous” video of the release of Zlatar on Uvac, after recovery, at the beginning of September 2018.