Cinereous vulture shot dead in Hungary

A cinereous vulture shot down in Hungary was part of the Bulgarian reintroduction programme supported by EuroNatur. This is a painful blow for the project.

feathers of a shot cinerous vulture in Hungary

<p>Some feathers from the vulture at the scene of its shooting.</p>

© Gabor Deak/MME BirdLife Hungary
GPS transmitter of a shot vulture

<p>The GPS transmitter lying on the river bank alerted vulture conservationists in Bulgaria to the crime.</p>

© Gabor Deak/MME BirdLife Hungary

On 27 April, Experts from BirdLife Hungary and the management of the Horbágy National Park were informed by colleagues in our Bulgarian partner organisation Green Balkans that no new location data was being sent by the GPS transmitter fitted to their cinereous vulture. Working together with local rangers from the National Park, experts from BirdLife Hungary managed to locate the transmitter, which had apparently been taken off the vulture, after it had been shot down, and thrown on the river bank. Further proof such as feathers and bloodstains were found by a dog unit. The police were called, recorded the details and took DNA samples from the GPS transmitter. Enquiries continue.

The vulture, which appears to have been shot down, was born in 2019 in Spain and given the name Ichera after it was saved by local experts following a collision with a car. As part of the reintroduction project in Bulgaria which hopes to see the cinereous vulture settle there, Ichera was returned to the wild in March 2021 having recovered from his injuries. After he was freed, the young vulture turned north, flying over Serbia and Romania to Eastern Hungary. Here it seems likely that Ichera fell victim to poachers.

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