Reinforcing the reintroduction program to restore the core population of the Bearded Vulture between the Alps and the Pyrenees

Reinforcing the reintroduction program to restore the core population of the Bearded Vulture between the Alps and the Pyrenees

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
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Dates / Project duration

November 2022 - November 2028 / 73 months

Field of action :

Conservation of endangered species

Branch :


Location :


Project sponsor(s) :

Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) France


The world population of the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus barbatus) is estimated at 2,000-10,000 individuals, 65% of which are adults. Only in the Western Palearctic region has its population been more comprehensively assessed (591-774 breeding pairs). Despite a relatively positive trend in the European population (207 pairs), in other territories its populations are still declining or have not been restored. Therefore, the species is classified as vulnerable according to the criteria of the European Red List of the IUCN, but from the Balkans to the Western European countries its status is closer to the danger of extinction.

Necrophagous raptor, it feeds mainly on bones (about 70%). Its food resources come from domestic livestock (mainly sheep/goats) and wild animals (ibex, chamois, mouflon and deer), when they are above the forest limit. The Bearded Vulture does not reproduce before the age of 7 years. It will then take several years before a youngster is successfully raised.

The bearded vulture has benefited during the period 2015-2021 from the LIFE GYPCONNECT reintroduction program. This LIFE project has allowed the reintroduction of 42 Bearded Vultures until 2021, the confinement of 4 to 5 pairs of Bearded Vultures (3 in the eastern part of the Pyrenees and 1 in the Grands Causses, 1 in the Vercors) and the establishment of exchanges of individuals between the Alps and the Pyrenees. Given these extremely encouraging results, it seems crucial to continue the efforts undertaken during GYPCONNECT to significantly improve its conservation and protection status in France and on a European scale by continuing the creation of new population nuclei and by consolidating the population continuum between the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Thus this project aims to :

- Consolidate the flagship actions of LIFE GYPCONNECT, in particular, the reintroduction

- Develop the experimental actions conducted during the LIFE GYPCONNECT (experimentation of lead-free ammunition, securing the electrical network)

- Respond to identified threats and issues (poisoning, shooting, wind turbines)

- To ensure the acceptance of the Bearded Vulture conservation objectives by the key actors of the territory: Farmers.