A record breaking breeding season for the Guirre

nidoAfter 7 months of hard work Julio Roldan and Walo Moreno (and co-workers) have ended the fieldwork by ringing the last chick in August. With a record number 60 occupied territories and 36 fledged young on Fuerteventura alone, 2016 was the most productive breeding season since the monitoring started in 1998 (60% of nest successful compared to an average annual reproductive output of  40%). The situation on Lanzarote was stable compared to other years with 5 fledglings out of 5 territories. We currently don’t know why so many pairs were successful this year.  One possibility could be that the unusual heavy rainfall very early in the breeding season in February improved the overall food conditions on the island, inducing many animals to reproduce, including feral goats. However, the previous record season in 2014 (30 fledglings out of 55 territories), was one of the driest years in decades. Both these extreme weather condition may result in a higher availability of food for the vultures (for instance, many animals were dying due to the drought in 2014), but we know too little about the breeding ecology of Egyptian vultures to fully understand these yearly fluctuations in reproductive output. In any case, both the breeding season in 2014 and 2016 show that in some seasons those factors constraining reproduction on Fuerteventura may be partly absent.

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Julio Roldan (left)  and Walo Moreno (right)

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95M is currently a frequent visitor of the feeding station (August/September)

Pollo

 

 

 

 

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