Land-use effect on the foraging and feeding of Eurasian griffon
vultures (Gyps fulvus) in northern
The goal of this study was to Identify the effect of land use and other environmental factors on the foraging and feeding patterns of Griffon vultures
Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus)
Project description (Lia's Court M.A.'s abstract):
Human activities frequently reduce wildlife food availability that may cause population decline and species extinction. Endangered species Management regimes often provide supplements when food availability or quality is a major limiting factor. This activity requires comprehensive understanding of foraging and feeding patterns of the referred species.
The population (ca.
350 individuals) of the locally endangered Eurasian Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) in
The research was
based on the hypothesis that the degree of usage of available food by Griffon
vultures is simultaneously affected by various factors in its habitat. The main
goal of this research was to identify the effect of land-use and other
environmental factors, on the foraging and feeding patterns of Griffon vultures
and exploitation rate of available food, spatially and temporally. An
efficacious tool for food quality control can be devised, based on the results,
which will optimize conservation policy of Griffon Vultures, and also can be
used to predict impact of development, such as settlements and tourism, on the
vulture population in
In order to identify the effect of land-use and selected environmental factors on foraging and feeding patterns of the Griffon vultures, 237 carcasses in the Golan area were characterized and quantified during 2002-2003. Data was analyzed by GIS (Geographic Information System) and multi-variables statistical tests. The results present models for predicting the temporal and spatial food exploitation patterns of vultures by the tested variables.
successfully identified food abundance and preferred feeding areas of the
Griffon vultures in the
The Golan Heights forms an attractive area for vultures from all over Israel and its surroundings, since it comprises a unique combination of food abundance, suitable habitats for foraging and roosting and better nature conservation conditions, in comparison to the near by areas. According to these results it is highly recommended, to base future rural planning on enlarging existing settlements or orchards rather than establishing new ones. In addition, it is advisable to minimize disrupting factors (power lines, protective management against predators using dogs), in order to encourage the vultures to forage and feed in the Golan area. Treating available food in the open (bone adding and laceration), correspondingly with improving the locations and operation of feeding stations, as a quality food source backup, are essential management tools for conserving the species and can have significant implications for the survival of the Eurasian Griffon vulture in Israel.
This project was supported by The Garelik Fund, The Golan Research Institute