Ardea
Official journal of the Netherlands Ornithologists' Union

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Karimov T. & Guliyev G. (2017) Diet composition of four vulture species in Azerbaijan. ARDEA 105 (2): 22-22
We studied the diet of four avian scavenger species, the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus, Black Vulture Aegypius monachus, Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus and Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus in Azerbaijan, in the South Caucasus region, from 2008–2012. During these years, a total of 1861 remains were collected between May and July at nests of each of the four vulture species. The collected food remains belonged to 45 different animal species, including at least 24 species of wild mammals and eight species of domestic mammals. Diet composition of Griffon and Black Vultures differed greatly between years, consisting mainly of Domestic Sheep Ovis aries in 2008 and 2009, carnivores such as Grey Wolf Canis lupus, Golden Jackal Canis aureus and Red Fox Vulpes vulpes in 2010, and Domestic Horses Equus ferus caballus in 2011 and 2012. The diet of Egyptian Vultures was less variable across years, but generally consisted of a larger variety of wild animals, including Red Fox, Brown Hare Lepus europaeus caucasicus, reptiles and several species of birds, and only a small fraction of domestic mammals (<5%). The diet of Bearded Vultures consisted mostly of Daghestan Tur Capra cylindricornis, a wild goat species. The variation in diet between years observed in Griffon and Black Vultures coincided with changes in the availability of carcasses in the environment.


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