The Moroccan Association for Falconry and Raptors Conservation (MAFRC) with the coordination of the of the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification (HCEFLCD) rehabilitated, marked and then successfully released an electrocuted Egyptian vulture -Neophron percnopterus-. Thanks to multiple treatments and a feather transplant, the Vulture was able to take off and resume its migration to the south.
As the legendary bird and symbol of resurrection, endowed with great longevity and characterized by its power to be reborn after being consumed in the flames, we could not find a better name than “PHOENIX” to this Egyptian vulture, which miraculously survived an electrocution on a medium voltage pylon. On March 27th, informed by Mr. Mohamed Chaibi citizen of Ifrane, the MAFRC was able to proceed with the recovery of PHOENIX.
The Egyptian vulture is the most endangered species among the four vulture species of the Western Palearctic. The species classified “DANGER” in the red list of IUCN, is in a more than vulnerable situation, which justifies the deployment of all the possible actions to favor its Conservation.
At the time of recovery, PHOENIX suffered multiple burns, including the right paw, in addition to the loss of 5 primary primaries on its right wing, charred at the time of electrocution on a medium voltage pylon.
After the agreement and with the coordination of the of the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification (HCEFLCD), the MARFC recovered PHOENIX March 27 to try a rehabilitation and a reintegration in its environment. The Vulture has received several treatments and care as well as a delicate operation of feather implantation. The so-called enter technique is usually used in Falconry and involves taking feathers from a “donor bird” and “grafting” them into the damaged feathers of a recipient bird. This method set up centuries ago by falconers to repair the broken feathers of their birds during hunt parties is now used for rehabilitation and conservation purposes.
The Egyptian Vulture was subsequently equipped with a 50 gram GPS beacon, courtesy of the Max Planck Center for Animal Marking, represented by Dr. Wolfgang Fiedler. He was and also banded (Inst Sci Rabat 104) on the right tarsus and carries on the left tarsus a ring DARVIC of yellow color M05.
PHOENIX successfully took off on August 3rd at Jbel Moussa as directed by the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification (HCEFLCD) and with the assistance of GREPOM Nord-Ouest and MAFRC. Demonstrating a perfect recovery, the Egyptian Vulture flew without difficulty, arousing much emotion among the team that participated in the release.
PHOENIX stayed more than 15 days in the hinterland of Larache, where he was observed for 25 minutes on 17/08/2018 by a member of the AMFCR. It began its migration south on 21/08/2018, traveling an average of 270 kms per day before reaching the Algero-Mauritanian border, where it issued its last known position on August 24, 2018. At this date, the battery of the tracker was near the lowest threshold and most likely extinguished. It is possible that there was dirt or feathers covering the solar panel, which prevented the correct charging of the battery.
At this point, the only option is to wait. The next time the tracker has a GSM connection and enough energy, it will emit a GPS position. High-resolution GPS tracking of birds reveals the threats they face. We can see that PHOENIX, during his journey, spent a lot of time around electrical poles where he was directly exposed to lethal electrocutions…
Good wind and quickly reunion!
The complete tracking of this bird can be consulted on the Movebank study “Raptors MPIO AMFCR Morocco”.