Tracking data suggest that Oman’s Egyptian Vulture population is much larger than expected

Published on 06 September 2019 in Main articles

By Bernd-Ulrich Meyburg, Michael McGrady, Maia Sarrouf Willson and Asma Al Bulushi

Abstract We tracked 12 adult Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus, captured at a landfill near Muscat, Oman, in January 2018. By 31st May 2018, none had migrated, although one moved to southern Iran. Assuming that the tracked birds were representative, it seems likely that the majority of Egyptian Vultures wintering in Oman are resident. Together with findings from other studies, including counts at landfill sites and surveys of breeding birds on Masirah Island, tracking suggests that the Omani population must greatly exceed the published estimate of 100 pairs. This and the apparent low level of current threats in Oman is welcome news for a species suffering steep declines across most of its range.

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Michael McGrady and Hamed Al Gheilani (Community Outreach Manager, Environment Society of Oman) releasing a juvenile Egyptian Vulture fitted with a GPS satellite tag, Al Multaquaa, Oman, January 2016. Patrick McGrady