Neophron percnopterus

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Scientific Name
Neophron percnopterus
Common Name
Egyptian Vulture
Taxa Group
Move Mode

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Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Data package
    Data from: Early life and acquired experiences interact in shaping migratory and flight behaviors
    (2023-11-21) Efrat, Ron; Hatzofe, Ohad; Mueller, Thomas; Sapir, Nir; Berger-Tal, Oded
    Two types of experience affect animals' behavioral proficiencies and accordingly their fitness: early-life experience–an animal’s environment during its early development, and acquired experience–the repeated practice of a specific task. Yet, how these two experience types and their interactions affect different proficiencies is still an open question. Here, we study the interactions between these two types of experience during migration, a critical and challenging period. We do so by comparing migratory proficiencies between birds with different early-life experiences, and explain these differences by testing fine-scale flight mechanisms. We used data collected by GPS transmitters during autumn migrations of 65 individuals to study the flight proficiencies of two groups of Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus), a long-distance, soaring raptor. The two groups differed greatly in their early-life experience, one group being captive-bred and the other wild-hatched. Both groups improved their migratory performance with acquired experience, exhibiting shorter migration times, longer daily progress, and improved flight skills, specifically more efficient soaring-gliding behavior. The observed improvements were mostly apparent for captive-bred vultures which were the least efficient during their first migration but were able to catch up in their migratory performance already in the second migration. Thus, we show how the strong negative effects of early-life experience were offset by acquired experience. Our findings uncover how the interaction between early-life and acquired experiences may shape animals' proficiencies and shed new light on the ontogeny of animal migration, suggesting possible effects of sensitive periods of learning on the acquisition of migratory skills.
  • Data package
    Data from: Satellite tracking a wide‐ranging endangered vulture species to target conservation actions in the Middle East and East Africa
    (2019-12-02) Buechley, Evan R.; Şekercioğlu, Çağan H.
    Vultures comprise the most endangered avian foraging guild (obligate scavengers) and their loss from ecosystems can trigger trophic cascades, mesopredator release, and human rabies epidemics, indicating their keystone species status. Vultures’ extremely large home ranges, which often cross international borders of countries that have differing laws and capacity for wildlife conservation, makes conserving them challenging. However, satellite-tracking data can be used to identify habitat preferences and critical sites to target conservation actions. We tracked 16 Egyptian Vultures, Neophron percnopterus, in the Middle East and East Africa. We used dynamic Brownian bridge movement models to calculate home ranges and core-use areas, and we analyzed habitat use in a resource selection framework. Combined summer and winter ranges (99% utilization distributions) of all birds covered 209,800 and 274,300 km2, respectively. However, the core-use areas (50% utilization distributions) in the summer and winter ranges, accounted for only 0.4–1.1% of this area (900 and 3100 km2, respectively). These core-use areas are where the home ranges of multiple individuals overlapped and/or where individuals spent a lot of time, such as feeding and roosting sites, and are places where conservation actions could focus. Resource selection models predicted Egyptian Vulture occurrence throughout little-studied parts of the species’ range in the Middle East and East Africa, and revealed strong selection for proximity to highways, power distribution lines, and towns. While providing roosts (e.g. power pylons) and food (e.g. garbage dumps), anthropogenic features may also function as ecological traps by increasing exposure to electrocution and dietary toxins.
  • Data package
    Data from: The spatiotemporal properties of artificial feeding schemes influence the post-fledging movement of Egyptian Vultures
    (2024-03-13) Reznikov, Korin; Efrat, Ron; Berger-Tal, Oded; Sapir, Nir
    Many vulture populations have severely declined in the past decades, showing high juvenile mortality. To support these populations, feeding stations are used to increase food availability and to supply food without antibiotics and toxic compounds. Yet, supplying food at feeding stations may affect vulture behavior. We present a large-scale field experiment testing how different food provision schemes affected the movement of Egyptian Vultures (Neophron percnopterus). We used GPS transmitters harnessed to 18 vulture chicks and described their movements post-fledging. We categorized the vultures into 3 groups according to the feeding scheme used at feeding stations near their nests: frequent and spatially dispersed food supply (FD); non-frequent and spatially dispersed food supply (NFD); and frequent food supply, concentrated in one location (FC). We found that birds from all three groups increased their roosting distances from the nest with fledgling age, with the NFD and FC groups showing a greater increase than the FD group. Additionally, all 3 groups increased their daily flight distances, with the NFD group presenting the largest increase and the FD group presenting the smallest increase. Our findings offer new insights into the relevance of spatiotemporal differences in the management of feeding stations and show its effect on movement during birds’ early life stages, creating 2 main movement patterns: local and regional. Our findings can help decide upon the preferable feeding scheme in a way that will either encourage or reduce the early dispersal distances of fledglings, according to long- and short-term conservation objectives. For example, local movements during the post fledging period to known and stable food resources may reduce the risk of anthropogenic-induced mortality, while it may negatively affect long-term survival by hindering foraging, flight, and exploring skills and affect dispersion to future breeding sites.