If you click on any images in the blog, it will be opened in a separate window, will be larger and it will be easier to see detail.

Blog posts after 1 Feb 2018 about Steppe eagles tracked from Oman can be found at the Steppe eagle blog

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Movements of 171318 during January-October 2018

by Mike McGrady and Bernd Meyburg

In January 2018 we fitted satellite transmitters to 13 Egyptian vultures (12 adults and 1 juvenile) at the Muscat municipal rubbish dump at Al Multaquaa.  This blog has given occasional updates on the movements of those birds (and that two may have died).  Back in January, we thought that Oman was likely an important destination for vultures migrating from farther north.  However, because none of the birds we fitted with transmitters actually migrated, we now think that the large number of vultures at Al Multaquaa in winter are actually resident birds, indicating that Oman's vulture population is probably much larger than estimated.  See https://egyptianvultureoman.blogspot.com/2018/10/summer-2018-to-october.html

As mentioned, none of the birds we tracked migrated.  All except one settled into home ranges in NE Oman, roughly between Ibra, Samail, Muscat and Sur.  However, one bird, 171318, moved up and down the north Oman coast during Jan-April, then hopped across the Straits of Hormuz, and settled on Qeshm Island and the adjoining mainland.  It has been there ever since.  You can look back at blog posts about its movements https://egyptianvultureoman.blogspot.com/2018/04/a-little-migration.html

John Burnside of Sustainable Houbara Management and University of East Anglia has kindly animated the movements of 171318
@SustainHoubara  sustainablehoubaramanagement.org (Have a look what they are doing, and the movements of the Houbara bustards that they have tracked.).

It's fascinating that this bird travelled up and down the coast, covering about 19,000 km before crossing to Iran.  In total since January, 171318 has covered almost about 30,000 km! (Double click on the image below or click on the full-screen option in bottom right of image to show in full screen.)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Summer 2018 to October

by Mike McGrady and Bernd Meyburg

As you may remember, we fitted 12 adult Egyptian vultures with GPS telemetry back in January 2018, thinking that at least some of them would be from migratory populations farther north.  It turned out that we were wrong.  All the birds stayed in Oman, except one, which just hopped across to Iran.  Below is a map of locations over the summer of 11 of the birds we have tracked, each bird has a different colour.  You won't be able to make out the locations of some of the birds because their locations will be buried under the others... we have tens of thousands of locations all together.  Despite that, the map tells the main story - Oman, especially the eastern Hajars, appears to be a real stronghold for resident vultures.  This is real news because in almost all other locations in their huge global range (Iberia to Central Asia, south to India, Arabia and sub-Saharan Africa right across to West Africa) Egyptian vultures are declining and under severe pressure.

We, along with co-authors from the Environment Society of Oman and be'ah, the national waste management company, will be presenting these and other results at international conferences in the coming months.

In the coming days we will be updating you on the movements of the bird that went to Iran, so revisit this site.

Locations of 11 adult Egyptian vultures tracked between January and October 2018.