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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Late September 2015

The Egyptian vulture we have been tracking has spent the last three weeks moving around between the Al Multaqa rubbish dump, the coast and villages nearby.  This is where it has spent most of its time over the last 8 months.

Movements of vulture during 21-28 2015.
 Interestingly, we can see below that there is work going on at the dump itself.  Presumably this is part of the $37 Million/14.25 Million OMR expansion Sita-Suez won earlier in the year.  Click here to read more about that upgrade/expansion.  In fact, Oman is upgrading its waste disposal across the country.  Such upgrades are crucial for human health, and need not negatively affect scavenging birds, like the globally endangered Egyptian vultures that use the rubbish dumps.  Indeed, by their very nature, vultures provide an important "ecosystem service" by feeding on rubbish, and thereby removing it from the environment.  They provide this service 365 days a year, for free.

View of the rubbish dump.  Compare with the image posted on this blog on 4 September 2015.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Eight month review

Its been about 8 months since we captured two Egyptian vultures at Al Multaqa, and fitted them with GPS satellite transmitters.  The maps below are of all the GPS locations.  Together they show the areas most used by the tracked vultures.  While this blog usually puts up maps that span shorter periods of time, these longer-term maps show more accurately the areas used by the vultures and will be important to understanding how they use their environment and what needs to be done to conserve Egyptian vultures in the long-term.

GPS locations of Egyptian vulture (143581).  This bird stopped transmitting in early February 2015.

GPS locations of Egyptian vulture (143580).  This bird is still transmitting and moving around northern Oman.

Friday, September 4, 2015

27 August-3 Sept 2015 and Vulture Awareness Day

Don't forget that tomorrow is Vulture Awareness Day  http://www.vultureday.org/2015/index.php.

So that you are aware of what the radio tracked vulture in Oman is doing... During this week our vulture seemed to favour feeding at main Muscat municipal rubbish dump at Al Multaqa.  It has been remarkable (to me at least) how little time this bird has spent at the rubbish dump since it was fitted with a transmitter back in January.  The map below shows its movements over the last week.
Movements of subadult Egyptian vultures during 27 August - 3 September 2015.
The map below shows that the bird has indeed been at the rubbish dump, and the preference for roosting at a particular electricity pylon about 500 m south of the dump.

Locations at the Al Multaqa Rubbish Dump during end of August 2015.
Map showing the importance of this electricity pylon to the tracked vulture during the last days of August 2015.