Three threatened with extinction vultures victims of poisoning in Crete

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.

Dilitiriasmena Ornia Crete GChorafas LIFEBonelli 2 site

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

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With the contribution of:

The LIFE Bonelli eastMed project “Conservation & Management of the Bonelli's eagle population in east Mediterranean” will address the most critical threats to Bonelli’s eagle populations in Greece and Cyprus. The overall objective is to ensure the long-term favourable conservation status for the species’ interconnected local populations, through the establishment and operation of the East Mediterranean Bonelli’s Eagle Network.

The project is implemented by the Natural Museum of Crete - University of Crete, the Game and Fauna Service (Game Fund) - Cyprus, the Hellenic Ornithological Society/BirdLife Greece, the Ministry of Environment & Energy - Greece, the Department of Forests - Cyprus and the NCC Environmental Studies Ltd with the financial contribution of the LIFE instrument of the EE.

For conservation issues:
+30 2810 393292
For Communication issues:
+30 210 8228704 & +30 210 8227937

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University of Crete - Natural History Museum of Crete, Knossos Avenue Premises, 71409 Heraklion, Crete


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