Local impact of the reserve effect on a population of vultures

Parc National des Pyrenées
Published: November 2015
Last edited: July 2019
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Summary

Following the sharp decline in the population of vultures, the Ossau Nature Reserve was created in 1974 on the territory of the Pyrenees National Park to save the couple dozen remaining vultures. 40 years later, hundreds of vultures live in the reserve, and nearly 825 in the French Pyrenees. This increase in population has led to the development of nature tourism and the development of plot rendering agreement with the local farmers.

Classifications

Region
West and South Europe
Scale of implementation
Local
National
Subnational
Ecosystem
Grassland ecosystems
Temperate grassland, savanna, shrubland
Theme
Biodiversity mainstreaming
Connectivity / transboundary conservation
Indigenous people
Outreach & communications
Species management
Tourism
World Heritage
Challenges
Loss of Biodiversity

Location

Pyrénées National Park, Cauterets, Hautes-Pyrénées 65110, France | Réserve Naturelle d'Ossau, Pyrenees National Park
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Challenges

declining vulture population

Beneficiaries

vultures, local farmers and local population.

How do the building blocks interact?

The restoration and conservation of a population of vultures require several key elements: protection of individuals, their natural habitat and food resources. Regulatory tools in place at local level (presence of national park creation of the nature reserve) have validated the first 2 points. The food resource of vultures consists primarily of livestock. The establishment of natural plot rendering allows, in addition to the restoration of ancestral links between vultures and pastoralism, to maintain a food supply throughout the year, and under controlled sanitary conditions. The sustainability of the population of vultures is possible only in combination with the social acceptance of the vulture. Capitalizing on the services rendered by vultures is important, and is implemented through the partnership with the farming profession. In addition, the establishment of a tourist offer related to the local population of vultures allows a wider acceptance and strengthens the development of the area by creating jobs and bringing new sources of revenue.

Impacts

The creation of the Ossau national reserve, managed by the National Park, has resulted in a significant population growth among vultures throughout the Pyrenees. Additional reserve effect results include: - The development of nature tourism linked to the development of this natural heritage (development of a site visit and "the Vulture Cliff" (15,000 annual admissions, broadcast images of cameras filming nesting areas), raptor networking sites discovered between France and Spain, the creation of an interpretive trail around prey, an increase in time that birds stay home, and a rise of foreign customers accompanied by certified output professionals. - Restoring links between farms and mountain vultures, natural renderers valleys and improved perception of vultures among residents and farmers.

Contributed by

Philippe Ospital PARC NATIONAL DES PYRENEES

Other contributors

PARC NATIONAL DES PYRENEES