Ardea
Official journal of the Netherlands Ornithologists' Union

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Angelov I., Bougain C., Schulze M., Al Sariri T., McGrady M. & Meyburg B.-U. (2020) A globally-important stronghold in Oman for a resident population of the endangered Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus. ARDEA 108 (1): 4-4
The Egyptian Vulture is a partial migrant that is globally endangered. Recent satellite tracking in Oman suggests that the resident population of Egyptian Vultures is larger than previously estimated. We used information from tracked vultures as a framework for searches for Egyptian Vulture territories in northern Oman. We found 61 occupied territories, and identified 19 additional presumed territories for which occupancy was unconfirmed. The sum of those and the territories recently discovered on Masirah Island exceeds the published national estimate of 100 pairs. An initial conservative estimate suggests a breeding density of 0.26 pairs/km2 in our study area, indicating that it holds around 225 pairs. Although the nesting density in suitable habitat across Oman appears to be variable, the number of pairs of Egyptian Vultures is certainly multiple times greater than estimated. This is encouraging news for this endangered species, and suggests that under certain conditions Egyptian Vultures can thrive, even in places where anthropogenic development is rapidly increasing, as in Oman. Because Oman is developing, threats to Egyptian Vultures and other large soaring birds (e.g. due to electrocution and poisoning) may be reduced or partially avoided by planning and regulation that includes installation of safe electricity infrastructure, ensuring that food consumed at dump sites is safe for scavenging birds, and raising public and government awareness.


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