Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 145, Issue 4, pp 273–280 | Cite as

Migrations and sojourn in Africa of Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) tracked by satellite

  • Bernd-U. Meyburg
  • Max Gallardo
  • Christiane Meyburg
  • Elena Dimitrova
Original Article


By means of satellite telemetry, the migrations of three young Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) from France and Bulgaria were studied and data obtained (over 4,300 Argos locations) to describe movement patterns, timing of migration, routes followed, speed of flight and ranging behaviour in Africa. Two French vultures migrated at almost the same time and, after travelling ca. 3,570 km, remained in the Sahelian zone, in southern Mauritania. The Bulgarian bird, after travelling 5,340 km, ended in south-east Chad, in the Sudano-Sahelian zone. It was possible to determine two remarkably long daily flight distances of this bird of over 500 km on two successive days (1,017 km in total) when crossing the Sahara. In January and February, the Bulgarian bird wandered extensively over 2,600 km, even as far as north-east Nigeria. Both French vultures remained in their home ranges in Mauritania once they had adopted them, which extended to 69,000 km2 and 50,000 km2, respectively. One continuously-tracked vulture from France first left its African home range when 3 years old (probably in its fourth plumage type).


Egyptian vulture Home range size Migration Satellite telemetry Sojourn in Africa 



We should like to thank the Luberon Nature Park for financial support of the project in France. Dr. Bojan Milchev, Anton Kovachev and Ivan Krastenyakov helped us in the field in Bulgaria as did Dr. Alain Marmasse in France. G. Frechet and P. Maigre supplied observations of one bird in France as did T. Conzemius from Tarifa. Birgit Gerkmann was helpful in evaluating satellite photographs of the Global Land Cover Programs. Dr. Bojan Milchev, Dr. Wolfgang Baumgart and Dr. Jean-Marc Thiollay kindly read a first draft of the manuscript and made helpful suggestions for improvement. Finally we also thank R. D. Chancellor for linguistic help. The marking of the vultures with PTTs complies with the current laws in France, Bulgaria and Greece.


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Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V.  2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd-U. Meyburg
    • 1
    • 3
  • Max Gallardo
    • 2
  • Christiane Meyburg
    • 3
  • Elena Dimitrova
    • 4
  1. 1.World Working Group on Birds of PreyBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Parc Naturel Régional du LuberonFrance
  3. 3.World Working Group on Birds of PreyParisFrance
  4. 4.VarnaBulgaria

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