An operation to release some vultures was carried out at Jbel Moussa on 17 August 2018. It was organized by the Forestry Administration (HCEFLCD) in collaboration with a number of national institutions and NGOs.
Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus):
This bird was found at Khmis Anjra (located at some 30 Km south of the Strait of Gibraltar). It was taken care of by a farmer for a period of time (more about this later), and on 9 August 2018 it was recovered by the North-West section of GREPOM in collaboration with the Forestry Administration (HCEFLCD – DREF-Rif).
The vulture was wing-tagged with white-code markings on black background (M20). Because it still can’t fly at that moment, it was taken by the Moroccan Association for Falconry and the Conservation of Raptors (AMFCR) to a raptor rehabilitation aviary in Bouznika (with the agreement of the HCEFLCD).
Annually a few Cinereous Vultures cross the Strait of Gibraltar to winter in Morocco, although some of them venture as far south as West Africa. Read more:
- 4 Cinereous Vultures crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in one day (Nov. 2017, all photographed).
- First record of Cinereous Vulture for Mauritania (photo).
- First record of Cinereous Vulture for The Gambia (photo & video).
- Two new records of Cinereous Vulture in Senegal (photos).
Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus):
This vulture was ringed and wing-tagged in Portugal by Quercus ANCN. On 08 July 2018, it was found weak at Khouribga and taken care of by a citizen. Alerted by GREPOM, the Forestry Administration (HCEFLCD) recovered the bird three days later. It was then transferred to the facilities of the National Zoological Garden (JZR) for treatment and recovery. On the release day, the HCEFLCD gave the green light to the AMFCR to transport the bird to Jbel Moussa.
The original wing-tags (white ‘X8’ on green background) were almost torn up by the vulture (see photo). Therefore, it was necessary to mark the vulture with new wing-tags (white ‘M19’ on black background).
Rüppel’s Vulture (Gyps rueppelli):
This bird was recovered in the Oriental region by the Emirates Center for Wildlife Propagation (ECWP) in collaboration with the Forestry Administration (HCEFLCD – DREF-Oriental). It was wing-tagged (black ‘M1’ on white background) and equipped with a GPS transmitter. It was released at Jbel Moussa area but it did not flight away.
Another Rüppel’s Vulture found by citizens on the roof of a building at Fnideq on 13 August. It was recovered on the same day by GREPOM and the Forestry Administration. It was meant to be wing-tagged and released on the same day as the other vultures. However, it escaped and flown away two days later. This bird is the 10th Rüppel’s Vulture for “spring 2018” in the area of Jbel Moussa. For the other birds, read: Migration of rare vultures at Jbel Moussa, spring 2018. (Although we don’t know for sure if it was migrating north or south when it landed on that roof. However, we know that some vultures still moving northward in August and September).