August 4, 2023: Who are the Eurasian Griffon vultures? How are they protected by the natural reserve? Keep reading to know more!
International ornithology magazine Sandgrouse has acknowledged the work of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Royal Natural Reserve in studying and safeguarding the Eurasian griffon vulture.
King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Royal Natural Reserve- King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Natural Reserve is the largest natural reserve in Saudi Arabia. It covers 130,000 square kilometers.
KSRNR- King Salman bin Abdulaziz Royal Natural Reserve.
The Eurasian griffon vulture
The Griffon Vulture is the most sociable/friendly of the four vulture species found in Europe, dining in big groups and roosting and reproducing in vast colonies that can hold hundreds of individuals.
It is now the most common vulture species in Europe, with over 35,000 breeding pairs, after experiencing a fall throughout the continent during the 20th century.
Picture source: https://www.animalspot.net
Following a decline in the 20th century brought on by poisoning of wildlife, hunting, and decreasing food supplies, the species has recently experienced a dramatic uptick in some regions, particularly in Spain, France, and Portugal.
Today, there are about 30,000 breeding pairs in western Europe, with 25,000 of those pairs being found on the Iberian Peninsula. There are about 600 pairs of Griffon Vultures in eastern Europe.
Back to the article:
An international publication called Sandgrouse puts together and publishes information about birds native to the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. It has been published on a regular basis since 1996. It is one of the most well-known bird magazines in these areas, according to Fahad Al-Shuwaier, director-general of communications at KSRNR.
Caucasus- The Caucasus is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, mainly comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia.
Fahad Al-Shuwaie added "The importance of the Eurasian griffon vulture for the ecosystem lies in the fact that it feeds on the carcasses of dead animals collectively, as it is present in groups that go out to search for food collectively, helping to clean the environment from the carcasses of these animals, which in turn helps to reduce the spread of diseases and infection from these carcasses."
According to KSRNR, "the publication of such news in international periodicals ensures that KSRNR attracts the attention of researchers, experts, and scientists at the global level who are interested in issues related to the environment."
Due to a sharp decline in population across the Arabian Peninsula, the Eurasian griffon vulture is a threatened species in the Kingdom.
Between 1972 and 2015, the population of Eurasian griffon vultures in Saudi Arabia decreased by 50 to 80 percent due to exposure to risks like secondary poisoning, hunting, accidents, and electrification.
One of the resident species that builds its nests in the KSRNR and in the southern Saudi Arabian wilderness is the Eurasian griffon vulture.
According to studies, it is one of the most significant species of birds in the reserve, with 46 nesting sites being registered and watched during the 2022 breeding season, including 22 active nests.