Poison baits strike in the heart of the last Cinereous vulture colony in the Balkans

11 March 2021

During the days when the cinereous vultures have been starting their incubation in Dadia forest, a severe poisoning incident took place in close proximity to their breeding sites.

Two dead Cinereous vultures were discovered due to a transmitter fitted on the back of one of the birds. Following a WWF Greece dog unit inspection in collaboration with staff from the Management Body of Dadia Forest National Park (MB of Dadia NP) and the Forestry Service of Soufli, one Spotted eagle and one wildcat were found deceased. The dog also detected a location with dead insects, a few Cinereous vulture feathers and the remains of mammal fur. All findings were collected, stored in the MB of Dadia NP facilities, and the next day transported to a public vet for toxicological analysis. An investigation of perpetrators has been started by the Forestry Service.

Image: WWF-Greece

The Cinereous vulture population does not exceed 30-35 pairs, thus the loss of two adult birds could have a significant impact. The three birds found in this incident increase the long list of victims of illegal poison bait use in Thrace, where in the last five years, nine Cinereous vultures, one Griffon vulture and one Golden eagle were found poisoned.

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