Survey reveals Portuguese Cinereous Vulture population


A national survey has produced a revised figure for the total number of Cinereous Vulture pairs in Portugal.

According to the data collected as part of the LIFE Aegypius Return project, between 78 and 81 nesting pairs are at large in the country – approximately double the 40 pairs estimated in 2022.

Approximately 80 nesting pairs of Cinereous Vulture were located in Portugal in 2023 (Ivan Ellison).

With its 3-m wingspan, Cinerous Vulture is the largest bird of prey in Europe. It has Critically Endangered status in Portugal due to its small population and ongoing threats to the birds' survival.

For example, breeding success remains low, but the LIFE Aegypius Return project aims to improve this. By 2027, it is hoped that at least half of all chicks hatched each year result in a flying juvenile that is recruited into the population.

Other work by the project includes preventing fires occurring whether the vultures are nesting as well as the maintenance of artificial nests used by the birds.

Find out more at the LIFE Aegypius Return website.