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

Monday, January 6, 2020

Egyptian vulture work in Oman - a history

by M. McGrady and B.U. Meyburg

An adult Egyptian vulture ready to be fitted with a satellite tag in 2018.

Egyptian vulture is globally endangered, and faces a wide range of threats including, poisoning, electrocution, persecution and hunting for belief-based medicine.  Most vulture species in Eurasia and Africa are of conservation concern, being either endangered or critically endangered.

Since 2012 Egyptian vulture research has been conducted in Oman.

2012 - surveys of breeding Egyptian vultures on Masirah supported by the Environment Society of Oman (ESO) find it to be the second most dense population in the world,  The result of that survey are published.

2013 - Waheed Al Fazari conducts vulture surveys for 1.5 yrs at the Muscat municipal landfill. Results are published.

2014 - the ESO supports wider surveys at dumpsites on the mainland.

2015 - Waheed Al Fazari and International Avian Research capture and tag with a satellite transmitter the first Egyptian two vultures to be tracked in Oman

2016 - two more vultures fitted with satellite transmitters by International Avian Research

2018 - 12 adult Egyptian vultures are trapped at the Muscat municipal landfill and fitted with transmitters.  This work funded by International Avian Research and the Bernd Meyburg Fund for Raptor Conservation and Research.  Be'ah, the waste management company in Oman, joins the conversation about how best to manage waste in Oman to benefit both scavenging birds (like vultures) and humans.

2019 - Surveys for breeding Egyptian vultures in the eastern Hajar Mountains by International Avian Research and the Bernd Meyburg Fund for Raptor Conservation and Research find many more breeding vultures than estimated.  Oman seen as a global stronghold.  Results of on-going surveys by ESO on Masirah, results of tracking and identification of Oman as a stronghold published in three different papers.  Artwork by Violet Astor raises funds for more work by ESO on Egyptian vultures.

So, at the end of 2019 we have 8 satellite tags providing data on movements of territorial adult Egyptian vultures (7 in Oman, one in southern Iran).  These birds have been tracked for two years now, and we plan a first effort at analysing those data in 2020.  Also, with funds from the Astor artwork, we will initiate field work and public conservation education efforts with Egyptian vultures as a focus.

Apart from the organizations mentioned, the work was undertaken with permission from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA). Be'ah and its contractors helped by providing safe access to their landfill sites.  Be sure to visit our other site about tracking scavenging birds in Oman: http://steppeeaglesoman.blogspot.com/

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