Berchtesgaden National Park is vulnerable to wandering wild bearded vultures

Berchtesgaden National Park is vulnerable to wandering wild bearded vultures

“Valley” and “Bavaria” are now developing their own distinctive wanderlust – the first of two bearded vulture females, released in June, has already left Berchtesgaden National Park and headed east: Bavaria exploring the Austrian Alps Has been doing. Wally will probably follow soon, reports the state association for bird conservation in Bavaria. One can follow the flight path of two birds equipped with transmitters Online to check Friends of the imposing birds of prey hope that Wally and Bavaria will one day return and that male mates will also so that the bearded vultures can re-establish themselves in the vicinity of the Königssee.

Bearded Vulture with a wingspan of up to 2.90 m (gypetus barbatus) for the world’s largest, airborne birds. These majestic birds of prey were once widespread in the Alps, but then they succumbed to character abuses: scavengers were said to hunt cattle, game, and even small children. Related persecution led to the extinction of the bearded vulture throughout the Alpine region in the early 20th century. But this should not be the final chapter: Since 1986 animal rights activists have been trying to enable bearded vultures to return to the alpine region by reproducing their offspring. Success is now visible in about 300 wild birds.

Alpine travel with the opportunity to return

In the Western and Central Alps, bearded vultures have been breeding freely again since 1997. But so far these animals have not been able to establish themselves so successfully in the Eastern Alps. A project of the State Association for Bird Protection in Bavaria (LBV) is now to support the return there by reintroducing young bearded vultures to the Bavarian part of the Alps. For this purpose, young bearded vultures will be released in the Klausbachtal of the Berchtesgaden National Park in the coming years. Wally and Bavaria debuted in June 2021. As LBV reports, there has now been a natural development that the team is already waiting for. October followed its natural urge to hike and has already started flying hundreds of kilometers long. Eastern Alps,” says project manager Tony Wegscheider.

The fact that both Vultures stayed true to their location for so long was unusual given the experience of the Europe-wide project. “Despite several day trips to the surrounding mountain ranges, the two vulture chicks return to places for food and sleeping near the niche in Klausbachtal,” says Ulrich Brendel, project manager for the national park. Wegscheider says: “Over the past few weeks we have had to answer more and more often the jokes about whether we will feed the Valley and Bavaria very well”.

But now at least Bavaria is out and after three days it has reached the Rax mountain range in eastern Austria, about 230 km away. “A short time later, Wally apparently attempted to follow her, but already a few kilometers outside her familiar territory she had clearly lost her courage and returned home to the national park,” says Wegscheider. report of. But according to experts, it can be believed that she too will fly away soon. Because young bearded vultures have an innate migratory instinct and in their first years of life, they travel thousands of square kilometers of mountains in search of food, their territory or a mate to breed.

Follow Vulture Journeys Online

Nevertheless, there are good prospects of returning to Berchtesgaden: “Since about two-thirds of all bearded vultures return to the original area after a few years of migration, we certainly expect that fewer of our vulture females At least one may be seen again around Königssee in the future”, explains Brendel. In addition, thanks to the annual release of bearded vultures in the Berchtesgaden National Park, which are planned by about 2030, they are gradually introduced into the area. Can find potential male partners to establish territories.

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If you want to keep track of two birds equipped with a GPS transmitter, you can go online with them: their flight routes are shown on a map on the LBV website. have been shown. However, the data will be posted there with a delay of three days. This is to prevent the birds from being disturbed by spectators at their sleeping places, LBV explains. Reports of spontaneous sightings of birds are welcome, however: hikers are encouraged to report observations of bearded vultures online with a photo at

Source: State Federation for Bird Protection in Bavaria
More information about the project

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