Eurasia's Largest Raptor Leaves Mongolia For Beijing


Earlier this month villagers called the IFAW Beijing Rapture Rescue Center (BRRC) because they sighted a vulture in the area. It is not common for people to see vultures, nor is it common for vultures to hang around, travel on the ground and so forth, so the call came somewhat as a concern.

The rescue staff immediately went to the village to try and track the vulture. The area where it was sighted is a common migratory route for major East Asian migratory birds. Most likely the bird had withdrawn from traveling for health reasons.

The vulture was easily approachable, again signifying some sort of disabling health condition. When brought into the Rescue Center the vulture was found to be dehydrated and thinner than normal, yet the staff was positive about successful rehabilitation. Also, easily recognizable on the bird were two types of identification: a wing tag and a ring. These are common forms of identification used by biologists.

The name on these tags was actually from Mongolia! The team immediately contacted the Mongolian Wildlife and Conservation Center to inquire about this particular animal. The tag and rings were confirmed and furthermore the Center forwarded on a study that involved this particular animal!

Back in 2005, several organizations conducted a study on the Cinereous Vulture (which is the official name of the species) because very little is known about these birds, despite being the largest raptor in Eurasia! This particular bird was banded while in the nest in 2005. 42 other nests were studied as well...just think about where the rest of the birds are now!

At the Rescue Center the vulture was given a consistent diet and supportive care including fluid therapy. Over a period of two weeks the vulture was able to regain it's strength and it was successfully released. We can only hope that the bird was able to reconnect with the migratory route and continue on it's journey.

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