Griffon vulture. | Redacción Local

The Griffon Vulture, or Gyps fulvus, arrived in the Balearic Islands in 2008 and has adapted to the habitat of Majorca, sharing territory and resources with the Black Vulture, or Aegypius monachus.

Researcher Ainara Cortés, from the Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats, who was awarded a Vicenç Mut scholarship by the Government is conducting a new study of the Griffon for a project which is being promoted by the Vulture Conservation Foundation.

At the beginning of the 21st century, only two species of the bird lived in the Balearic Islands; the Black Vulture in Majorca and the Neophron Percnopterus vulture in Minorca.

In November 2008 strong westerly winds brought more than 100 Griffon Vultures from the Peninsula to Majorca, who stayed and colonised the Island. Most of them were young and in the spring of 2012, the first chicks were born in Tramuntana. Since then, Researchers and Conservationists have monitored them in their Majorcan habitat.

The Black Vulture population was on the brink of extinction, but thanks to conservation efforts that reduced human persecution, among other things, the population has multiplied in the last 40 years.

In the 1980's there were about 20 birds and now there are around 200 Black Vultures on the Island, including at least 39 breeding pairs. There are also about 15 pairs of Griffon Vultures that reproduce successfully, which offers Ainara Cortés an exceptional opportunity to study the effects and consequences of the arrival of the species in Majorca.

“The colonisation of Majorca by the Griffon vulture is an extraordinary event and this study will allow us to gain knowledge about a key species from an ecological point of view,” she says.