Vulture mortality resulting from illegal poisoning in the southern Balkan Peninsula
A study was carried out to determine the incidents of illegal poisoning of griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), black vulture (Aegypius monachus), and bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in the southern Balkan Peninsula between 1982 and 2017. A total of 38 poisoning cases affecting 224 vultures were analyzed to identify their causes and the primary target species for poisoning. Nine different compounds were used in these incidents and the most frequently applied were strychnine, carbamate, and organophosphoros compounds. The poison used to kill gray wolf had the most significant collateral damage to the vulture populations in comparison to the other investigated reasons. It was the primary cause of 60% of all registered vulture poisoning events in the southern Balkan Peninsula during the last 36 years. Establishing permanent feeding sites for vultures in areas with wolves appears to be an effective way to minimize the risk of poisoning. There is a pressing need for the development of an appropriate conservation practice taking into consideration relationships among the main and casual target species for poisoning as an essential element in conjunction with the human activities.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-017-0594-x