A call from a vulture… in Jordan!

A call from a vulture… in Jordan!

It all started with a weird phone call on an unfamiliar language, the only thing understood being “Jordan Jordan!”. The only possible explanation for such an odd call was the fact that all the vultures, released within the Vultures Return in Bulgaria LIFE08 NAT/BG/278 Project, carry special wing tags, with a Bulgarian phone number written on them.

This is how the story of K8A began, how it ends, we may never know!

On October 9th, the project team received an inexplicable phone call. After we figured out what the reason may be, we started looking for someone who could help us establish a contact. People from even the Transit Refugee Center in the village of Pastrogor were ready to help. We sent a message in both Arabic and English and contacted colleagues from Israel, who reacted immediately and forwarded our request to Jordanian colleagues. After several calls it became clear that the initial caller was a Bedouin, who had trapped a live vulture in the dessert, close to the village of Jafir, Jahania area, Jordan. Scared by all the counter-calls, the man turned off his phone and we could not find out which exactly is the bird trapped. Thanks to our colleagues from the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, Jordan, the local police managed to locate the Bedouin and we finally learnt that the vulture was K8A. The trapper submitted the wing-tags, the metal and the PVC ring to the police and claimed that he has released the bird. This is the very first confirmed observation of a vulture, released in Bulgaria, reaching as far as Jordan.

K8A is a young male, captured in Cadiz, Spain, exhausted and dehydrated. After successful treatment, he was sent to Bulgaria in November 2013 to join the Vulture Return in Bulgaria LIFE08 NAT/BG/278 Project. Here he got his wing-tags and rings and was accommodated in the vulture adaptation aviary above Sliven in March 2014. He was released in September. The very next day he was found in a deep river valley by tourist, but managed to fly away and find the supplementary feeding site and the other vultures. It was captures by the photo-trap set at the site in mid-September and this was the last time we saw him.

This story is an amazing tale for international cooperation and assistance for the conservation of rare and threatened species. It is an excellent example of how people from various nationalities reach out and react immediately, effectively and adequately whenever this is needed.

We are proud and happy to be working in a field where political  borders do not matter and common efforts are extremely successful!

We are deeply grateful to our colleagues who helped us reveal this story!

For more information, please contact:
Elena Kmetova
Project manager of the Vultures Return in Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 885 219 557;