Breakthrough in Anti-poison Struggle after Introduction of Intensive Satellite Tracking of Griffon Vultures in Balkan

Emilian H. Stoynov1*, Hristo V. Peshev1, Dimitar A. Parvanov2, Atanas P. Grozdanov2
1 - Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna,
49 Ivan Michaylov str., 2700 Blagoevgrad, P.O.Box 78, BULGARIA 2 - Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Faculty of Biology,
8 Dragan Tzankov blvd. 1000 Sofia, BULGARIA
*Corresponding author:
Abstract. The use of poison baits for controlling predators is illegal practice in Europe nowadays, but it is still in use by some local people as an effective and affordable "solution" for resolving the conflicts with carnivorous mammals and other wildlife species. Many different approaches and activities were implemented in the last two decades to combat poisoning in Balkans, but the problem is still out of control with repeating cases of catastrophic events, also harming seriously the vulture populations in the region. The present research introduce a new strategy for controlling the problem, by using of patagial GPS/GSM transmitters for birds, which in the case of the Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), being more exposed to the sun, have an improved charge of the batteries through the solar panel, and thus offer the possibility for intensive tracking and frequent obtaining of detailed data load. A GPS location can be received on every minute or less and data load on every 10 minutes. This intensity of tracking the vultures' movements is a good tool to control their whereabouts in real time, which gives an essential advantage in anti-poison struggle, by fast location of problematic situations. The following work presents the developed approach and the first results, which are the base for proposing of new, early warning system for wildlife poisoning and poaching control and monitoring.
Key words:  wildlife poisoning, GPS transmitters, conservation, Gyps fulvus, Vulture safe area.

Ecologia Balkanica, 2019, Special Edition 2, pp. 15-21
Article № eb.19SE208 [Full text - PDF]pdf

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