Rüppell’s Vulture wing-tagged at Jbel Moussa, Morocco

By MaghrebOrnitho | 19 November 2016

Over five thousands Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) migrate through northern Morocco twice a year, and an increasing number of Rüppell’s Vultures (Gyps rueppelli) are also migrating through the region (a paradox, since the latter species is declining in its West African breeding areas from where these vagrants are coming). Some of these vultures can end up in the hands of humans for several reasons: exhaustion after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, flight difficulties and collision with power structures to name just a few causes.

The Northwest section of GREPOM/BirdLife Morocco has wing-tagged so far five Griffon Vultures (all in 2015). In July 2016, an exhausted Rüppell’s Vulture was recovered in northern Morocco. And after a period of rehabilitation, it was also marked with wing-tags and released at Jbel Moussa on 3 September 2016 (see photos).

Like this Rüppell’s, three of the Griffon Vultures in 2015 needed rehabilitation before wing-tagging and release as they were weak and unable to fly. We have rehabilitated some vultures before 2015 but were released without wing-tags. A wildlife rehabilitation centre is badly needed in northern Morocco, but unfortunately there is none neither in the region nor anywhere in the country and the rehabilitation was done the “traditional way” (at home).

Although some vultures were obtained directly from the public, several people, institutions and the local sections of some Government agencies are acknowledged for their collaboration and help (see the names in the last paragraph in French below).

Marquage d’un Vautour de Rüppell par des marques alaires

L’unité régionale du Nord-Ouest du GREPOM/BirdLife Maroc a marqué jusqu’à présent cinq Vautours fauves avec des marques alaires (tous en 2015). En juillet 2016, un Vautour de Rüppell épuisé a été récupéré dans le nord du Maroc. Et après une période de réhabilitation, il a été également marqué par des marques alaires et libéré à Jbel Moussa au le 3 septembre 2016 (voir photos).

Comme ce Rüppell, trois des Vautours fauves en 2015 ont eu besoin de réhabilitation avant le marquage et le relâche, car ils étaient faibles (dénutri) et incapables de voler. Nous avons réhabilité certains vautours avant 2015, mais nous les avons relâchés sans marquage. Un centre de réhabilitation de la faune sauvage est très nécessaire dans le nord-ouest du Maroc, mais malheureusement il n’y en a ni dans la région ni nulle part dans le pays et la réhabilitation a été fait à la “manière traditionnelle” (à la maison).

Nous remercions plusieurs personnes et institutions/organisations qui ont aidés avec ce vautour d’une manière ou d’une autre : La Gendarmerie, le Caïd de Ksar Sghir et aussi Hassan Hassani pour la récupération de l’oiseau. Alfonso Godino et l’UICN-Med (Malaga) pour la marque alaire. Colectivo Ornitológico Cigüeña Negra (COCN, Tarifa) représenté par Francisco Montoya, José Sarrión Salado et Arkadiusz Broniarek-Zięba pour le déplacement depuis l’Espagne pour équiper le vautour de leur émetteur terrestre. Sans oublier l’administration des Eaux et Forêts (HCEFLCD), aussi bien à l’échelle locale que nationale pour la collaboration.

Rachid El Khamlichi & Mohamed Amezian

Rüppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppelli) wing-tagged and released at Jbel Moussa, northern Morocco (Mohamed Amezian)

Rüppell’s Vulture (Gyps rueppelli) wing-tagged and released at Jbel Moussa (Mohamed Amezian)

Vautour de Rüppell (Gyps rueppelli) marqué par des marques alaires et relâché à Jbel Moussa, nord du Maroc (Mohamed Amezian)

Vautour de Rüppell (Gyps rueppelli) marqué par des marques alaires et relâché à Jbel Moussa (Mohamed Amezian)

Buitre moteado (Gyps rueppellii) marcado con marcas alares y liberado en Jbel Moussa, norte de Marruecos (Rachid El Khamlichi)

Buitre moteado (Gyps rueppellii) marcado con marcas alares y liberado en Jbel Moussa (Rachid El Khamlichi)

2 thoughts on “Rüppell’s Vulture wing-tagged at Jbel Moussa, Morocco

  1. Iain Robertson

    What would it cost to set up a basic rehabilitation centre and would you have enough volunteers to take care of it? I would be prepared to donate substantially to such a project. I have visited Maroc many times since 1968, I love your country, your cultures and your wildlife.

    1. MaghrebOrnitho Post author

      Thanks Iain for your interest, your willingness to help and also your nice words about Morocco. It would not cost much to set up a basic rehabilitation centre in Morocco if an existing building is offered. In this case, the costs will involve the renovation and buying some equipment. We have identified some partners (at the local and national level) who are interested in the project. As for volunteers, there are two with enough experience and others who are interested and can be trained. I will let you know when everything is ready.

      Best regards,


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