Three threatened with extinction vultures victims of poisoning in Crete
On Friday, 23rd of April 2021, George Chorafas and ‘”Paka”, the Antipoison Dog Unit of the project in Crete, were called to investigate a tragic incident of poisoning. The Team had just concluded a patrol at the area of Vainia, when a local farmer together with other residents informed them about dead vultures on the Kritsa-Katharos road.
Gamekeeper George Skyvallos, from the Hunting Association of Agios Nikolaos, together with a delegation from the Lasithi Forestry Service, were also on site. Unfortunately, it was too late for the three Griffon Vultures that were evidently poisoned. George and “Paka” continued their patrol until a rather large area had been thoroughly searched but went back the next day to investigate more sites, luckily without locating any more baits.
It is highly likely that the Griffon Vultures were actually poisoned in a different area to where they were eventually found. The site where the poisoned birds were located is very close to both the Site of Community Importance of the Lasithi plateau and the “Lazaros-Madara peak of Dikti” Special Protection Area. Both areas belong to the NATURA 2000 network due to the presence of many endangered birds of prey, e.g. Bearded Vultures, Griffon Vultures, Golden Eagles, Bonelli’s Eagles and more.
While the list of victims of poisoning in Greece is constantly growing, vultures and other birds of prey are heading steadily towards to extinction.
Help us protect life in the countryside!
If you have any information about poisoned baits or poisoned animals in the countryside, please inform the forest authorities in your area immediately.
To contact the National Call Center for Forest Protection, dial: 1591