The aim of the ‘Life Under Griffon Wings’ project of the University of Sassari is to maintain Sardinia’s native griffon vulture population. Griffon vultures began to decline in number in the 1970s due to farmers leaving poisoned carcasses on their property in order to kill predators. In addition to re-introducing griffon vultures in the wild, the University of Sassari also has a shelter. The university is furthermore involved in educating the local population about laws and the dangers of using pesticides.
Since then, legislation has changed, the protection of the griffon vultures’ natural habitat has improved, and there have been a number of reintroduction programmes. Griffon vultures in Europe are now doing better. However, new threats to griffon vultures, such as being hit by vehicles when feeding on road kill or being wounded by electrical power lines, mean that protection is still required.
Support from ARTIS
ARTIS is supporting the re-introduction project on Sardinia with the gift of two juvenile griffon vultures and the donation of two GPS trackers. Both chicks hatched in the spring of 2017 in the Vulture enclosure at ARTIS. One of these chicks was raised by a pair of male griffon vultures. The other released griffon is the offspring of two griffon vultures from Spain that were wounded in the wild and subsequently housed in ARTIS.
Organisation: University of Sassari
Animal: griffon vulture