Buitre negro y otras aves necrófagas


Conservation projects

life feeding scavengers


The LIFE+FEEDING SCAVENGERS Project will launch a series of conservation efforts aimed primarily at the conservation of the black vulture, as a species of community interest and priority. The efforts to be implemented seek to reestablish the natural conditions in the black vulture’s feeding habitat, restoring the time-space food availability conditions and the way food is accessible to them.

Click here for more information: (http://www.lifefeedingscavengers.com)

This project will favor the black vulture, as a priority species, over the griffon vulture due to both species’ competition for this resource.

In addition to the black vulture, all other avian scavengers and facultative scavengers within the intervention area are target species of LIFE+FEEDING SCAVENGERS. The seven target species are:

  • Black vulture (Aegypius monachus)
  • Iberian imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti)
  • Red kite (Milvus milvus)
  • Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus)
  • Black kite (Milvus migrans)
  • Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)
  • Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus)

The project contributes to the conservation status improvement of these species in Spain


  • Agreements with farmers

    The participation of livestock farmers is essential

  • Avian scavengers feeding

    Carcasses from extensive livestock farming may be left as food for the black vulture and other avian scavengers.

  • Consumption monitoring

    Verification of carcass consumption by avian scavengers will be conducted.

  • Impact on populations

    The monitoring of avian scavengers will allow us to understand population response to interventions.

Efforts will focus on the conservation status improvement of the black vulture and all other target species through the improvement of food availability.

In summary, actions to be implemented are:

  • Revising and drafting recovery and conservation plans for scavenger birds of community interest (Iberian imperial eagle, red kite, black vulture, and Egyptian vulture).
  • Developing and implementing programs for scavenger bird feeding, which are linked to extensive livestock farming and executed through agreements with farmers.
  • Designing an experimental app for updating a map of food availability.
  • Monitoring wild species included in the diet of scavenger birds.
  • Ensuring natural diet, prioritizing and improving the diet of species such as the black vulture, Egyptian vulture, and red kite.
  • Evaluating the needs met by the feeding programs and how each species benefits from the program.
  • Evaluating the reproductive success and population reinforcement of the black vulture and other target species.
  • Evaluating results and the socioeconomic impact of the project.
  • Conducting information and awareness campaigns for livestock farmers, students, and the general public.
  • Developing a website.
  • Disseminating the project’s technical and scientific information and findings as well as developing a manual of best practices for supplementary feeding of avian scavengers.
  • Coordinating and networking with other projects

Scope of action

The project will be implemented across the black vulture breeding population’s entire distribution range in Castile and León, areas of potential species recolonization, and important feeding areas for the black vulture and other avian scavengers, such as the red kite and the Egyptian vulture. All direct conservation efforts are executed within the Natura 2000 Network, in 26 Special Protection Areas for Birds (SPAs) in the provinces of Salamanca, Ávila, Valladolid, Segovia, Burgos, and Soria.

The feeding habitat of target species in Castile and León consists primarily of the Central System mountain range (which contains the main breeding populations of these species) and vast flatter farming areas located north of the range, constituting the main distribution and feeding areas for species such as the black vulture and wintering populations of red kite.

The 26 SPAs included in the Life project cover more than 784,000 hectares.


  • Provide sufficient and accessible food for avian scavengers of community interest.
  • Reduce food competition between the griffon vulture and priority species such as the black vulture, red kite, and Egyptian vulture.
  • Maintain adequate reproductive parameters among avian scavengers.
  • Facilitate the recolonization of the black vulture’s historical breeding grounds.
  • Make supplementary feeding stations accessible to the black vulture, Egyptian vulture, and red kite.
  • Ensure that all food provided is consumed by target species.
  • Eliminate possible conflicts between avian scavengers and the livestock farming community.
  • Fight mortality due to illegal poison usage.
  • Contribute to the perceived value of extensive livestock farming.

Collaborating entities