A few months ago I shared with the 10,000 Birds community the plight of Griffon Vultures in Cyprus, and it has only been getting worse. A census conducted on March 31 indicated that there are in fact only only 6-8 Griffon Vultures left in Cyprus. But there is cause for hope on the horizon. I had written then that…

There are rumors of a plan to capture Griffon Vultures breeding in Greece and release them here in Cyprus, to rescue the population. I have no idea if this is being pursued or is simply “being discussed.”

In the interim, I joined the council for BirdLife Cyprus and have been brought up to speed a bit. Plus BirdLife Cyprus has now released a statement of good news for threatened Griffon Vultures in Cyprus.

What is this cause for hope?

Well, under the current leadership BirdLife Cyprus has been granted EU funds for a project to start in September and continuing for two years, to bring 30 Griffon Vultures from the population in Crete. These will be rather young vultures, released in proximity to resident vultures here in Cyprus, with the hope that they will be able to form stronger bonds with the remaining resident vultures. They’ll also establish a housing facility to assist with the transition, and two feeding stations.

As a bonus, it was mentioned at the council meeting that the team from Crete would be willing to “throw in a few Ravens,” although I don’t think that this was meant seriously. It’s a shame, because the Raven population is probably just as scarce as the Griffon Vulture population here if not more so, and Ravens are very plentiful in Crete.

To assist with the project, I understand that there will be a vulturologist involved to support the transition and improve chances of success.

CREDIT: ©Jane Stylianou / Cyprus Bird Tours

Written by Dan
Dan is an eastern Pennsylvania native who grew up surrounded by birdwatching and nature documentaries. He caught the itch, so to speak, when he arrived at Sapsucker Woods in Ithaca, New York, and he refined his birding skills with the Lab of Ornithology's Spring Field Ornithology course. While there he studied Molecular Biology, then met a Cypriot, got married, and ended up moving with her to Cyprus. Dan is an active member of BirdLife Cyprus and goes birding whenever his career and family allow. Birds and their conservation locally, he thinks, are things that people need to talk more about in Cyprus, so much that he now blogs and tweets almost exclusively about these topics at Migrations.