By Nicola Cowell

MALAGA’S last breeding pair of rare Egyptian vultures have been found dead, making the species extinct in the province.

The pair of Alimoche Vultures were found by the Guadalteba reservoir by environmental officers who had been monitoring the critically-endangered species for the last 12 years.

Andalucia’s Association for the Defence of Nature is now looking into the cause of death of the birds, who have already disappeared from various other parts of Spain, including the Canary Islands.

Spokesman Consuelo Atencia said: “We are still waiting to find out the exact cause of death, but we believe the vultures may have been poisoned with chunks of meat containing pesticides.

“If the results show that the birds were poisoned, we will act accordingly.”

It is believed that the installation of a new wind farm and new laws on animal waste may also have made it more difficult for the scavenging birds to find food.

“As well as the risk of them flying into the windmills, farmers are no longer allowed to leave animal waste or carcasses out for them, ” said Atencia. “They must incinerate them instead.”

He continued: “This is in an area where there used to be lots of farms where vultures could feed on animal remains, but now they are going hungry.”

Green group Ecologistas en Action is now calling for a temporary ban on hunting in the area until the cause of death is discovered.

Nine pairs of Alimoche have died in the province since 1998 and Europe’s smallest vulture is dying out at an alarming rate.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with Adrian and Juan, the death of these birds is almost certainly deliberate, nothing to do with wind farms. The ignorance of those responsible for the deaths of these rare birds is alarming.
    I remember a 4×4 in a remote village in N. Spain proudly displaying the hide of an endangered brown bear covering a seat.
    It happens all over Europe: at the slightest threat to their livestock, farmers and other landowners will poison and shoot without regard for the consequences, even if grants are available to offset the stock losses.
    How can we teach conservation to tribal peoples in remote areas of the world if we can’t look after our own dwindling wildlife?

  2. They are maybe extinct in Spain but not worlwide and to blame wind farms is pathetic.
    Spain and Spaniards do not have a love of animals on the whole as say the UK.
    On my last visit to Cuba I saw many and varied birds of prey and it was wonderful to see, this has been part of Cubas attempt to keep wild life free and flourishing.
    Poisoning birds of prey was commonplace in the UK for years and now it is stopping and breeds are coming up in size. until the farmers are educated to see these birds will not harm them then they have no real future.
    I can go to my local bird sanctuary in Newent in Gloucestershire to see the Egyptian vulture and they are wonderful, how they use stones to break eggs.
    Spains farmers are to blame full stop.

  3. “RIGHT SAID FRED” …YOU NEVER STOP …GUESS WHAT??? NETHER WILL I …HAVE YOU EVEN BEEN TO A FERIA????? DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT ONE IS ..ITS WHERE THE SPANISH SHOW OFF THERE GREAT LOVE FOR THERE ANIMALS AND FAMILY. ARE YOU TAKING NOTES FREDDY (THE ANTI SPANISH BIGOT). YOU CAN LEARN TO SPEAK SPANISH FOR FREE ON THE B.B.C. WEB SITE…. WHY????.YOU DON’T. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY YOU LIVE IN SPAIN…..TIME TO PUT THE CAT IN THE BIN, ENGLISH ANIMAL LOVERS….

  4. Keep posting Nick, it makes you look even more stupid to all the readers lol. I wish someone would put you in a bin. Your inability to criticise anyone but me, when they say the same things, just shows you just have a chip on your shoulder Nick. Get over it.

  5. “I,M TOO SEXY FOR MY SANDALS” “TOO SEXY FOR MY SOCK,S””SOCK,S AND SANDALS ARE SO SEXY”. OFF THE POINT ?????..THIS IS THE POINT …THERE ARE ANIMAL LOVERS AND NON ANIMAL PEOPLE IN BOTH SPAIN AND U.K. “RIGHT SAID FRED”(AND JULIAN PRIROG) DON’T GENERALISE, ESPECIALLY IN THE COUNTRY YOU LIVE IN.CHIPS AHOY MATEY,S p.s I SOUND STUPID, BUT YOU ARE GENUINE ARTICLE.GO HOME……….SPAIN DOES NOT WANT YOU…

  6. I love that song, can you post all of the lyrics whilst you are there?

    Back to thread; there is an appalling lack of education amongst landowners and farmers in Spain – pesticides and poisons are de rigeur in the Spanish countryside – the effect to the wildlife is often not considered. As for domestic pets, well Spain has a horrific record of animal cruelty, and of course there is no dedicated organisation, such as the RSPCA, which in itself tells you a lot about the country’s attitude to domestic animals. Most of the most well known animal rescue centres are run by exptriates, of course.You choose to have a blinkered view of the reality in Spain, Nick.

    Btw, you missed three other posts by me – off you go… you’re getting very slow, lol.

  7. “WRONG SAID FRED” EVER HEARD THAT ONE….?..OR “BACK WHERE I BELONG”…”THE ROAD TO NOWHERE” IS A GREAT TUNE…? SOOTY HAS A MENTAL TELEPATHY WITH MR CORBET…SWEEP JUST SQUEAKS…..BUT AND THINK ABOUT IT…SUE HAS COMPLETE COMMAND OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE… ALSO VERY ARTICULATE….(that’s enough ed.)

  8. There are two different issues being confused here: what killed the Egyptian vultures in question and are windfarms dangerous to birds and to what extent.

    The two vultures were killed by poison and there is no doubt about it as the body of the one which was less decomposed was analyzed.

    Windfarms are unfortunately placed on migration routes and kill thousands of birds every year. A statement that they are not dangerous to birds is not correct.

    Wheather wind farms or poison kill more birds is a question of statistic – read up about it.

    By the way, poisoned bait in not a unically Spanish problem. Wherever farmers believe they have a conflict of interest with wildlife, this is the result. Bottom line is, it is illegal and it´s a punishable offence in Andalucia as well.Most of the offenders don´t get caught, some do as in the case of the man who killed a Lammergeier.

    Thge only way this will stop is education, starting at schools and starting with teachers as well. I think it is good of Olive Press to publish the article, but maybe they could go further and publish a more constructive article on how an average person can contribute to saving wildlife?

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