The Egyptian Vulture is a globally threatened raptor that is widespread across the southern Europe, Africa and Asia. It breeds in Balkans and Anatolia and some birds migrate every year to Africa through Turkey. For soaring birds, such as the Egyptian Vulture, narrow bottlenecks are critically important, as they require thermals that help them to use their energy efficiently on this long migration path.
For this reason, any work for conserving the species in Turkey is likely to have a global effect. Doğa has started to research the migration pattern of the species in Turkey in cooperation with Birdlife partners in the UK and Bulgaria. With a pilot study that lasted three months in 2013, the locations in which the highest numbers of Egyptian Vultures can be counted are identified as key monitoring stations. Findings revealed the plain between Erzin and Osmaniye is the most suitable location for raptor migration count. 522 Egyptian Vultures were counted here, forming the highest known number in Anatolia for the last 33 years.
Doğa is carrying out raptor counts in August and October with volunteers from Turkey and from all over the world every year. The annual census provides a robust data to model population trends for many species, particularly for the Egyptian Vulture.
Photograph: © Evrim Tabur