Foraging range and diet of cinereous vulture Aegypius monachus using livestock resources in central Spain

Authors: Rubén MORENO-OPO, Ángel ARREDONDO and Francisco GUIL

E-mail: ruben.moreno-opo@cbd-habitat.com

Published: Volume 57(1), June 2010. Pages 111-119.

Language: English

Keywords: Aegypius monachus, carcass, cattle tags, cinereous vulture, diet, livestock and foraging range

Summary:

We analysed the foraging area of cinereous vultures from a breeding colony of central Spain which were feeding on livestock carcasses by an indirect method that estimated movement ranges and feeding locations. Between 2004 and 2008 we checked the origin of 377 cattle tags, collected at nests and perches of the species. Using the individual codes of tags, we obtained the location (livestock exploitation) where the vultures fed. The average distance of the locations was 26.3 km (SD = 36.1). The linear flight routes ranged from 7.9 km to 342 km from the point of tag collection. The minimum convex polygon of all locations was 66,732.28  km2. The home range of cinereous vultures feeding on carcasses (95%, analysis Kernel) was 152,290.13 ha. We discuss the methodology used in this study compared to others using radiotracking as the location technique. Differences between methods probably explain why estimates of foraging areas and distances varied widely. These differences are analysed in relation to the different prey categories, the economic land use, type of habitat and the presence of predictable sources of food.

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