As the zoo reports, the pair of bearded vultures living in Nuremberg have already mated and started building their nests. “With a bit of luck, the female will lay one or two eggs in January, which will also be fertilized, and the pair will then begin incubation, which lasts about two months,” says deputy zoo director Jörg Beckmann.
Bird conservationists and zoos poach bearded vultures
A special reason for the anticipation is a cooperation in which the zoo is involved: Every year, the State Association for Bird Protection (LBV) and the Berchtesgaden National Park, in cooperation with the Nuremberg Zoo and the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF), want two to three young birds in the national park Release Berchtesgaden. The two female bearded vultures, Wally and Bavaria, have been circling in the eastern Alps since July 2021: their release into the wild marked the beginning of a ten-year project that aims to reestablish a stable population of wild bearded vultures there. Wally and Bavaria come from a Spanish offspring and were prepared for their release in the Nuremberg Zoo.
Nuremberg zoo wants to settle bearded vultures permanently
In the future, the Nuremberg Zoo wants to make an even more direct contribution to permanently reintroducing the scavengers, which have been extinct in Germany for more than 100 years, to the Alpine region. Because the zoo has kept bearded vultures since 1965, with only brief interruptions. The Nuremberg Bearded Vulture female is 22 years old, the male 42. The couple has already had offspring five times in the past, four of the young animals were raised, three of them were released as part of the EEP.
“Breeders are crucial for releases”
“Zoos and breeding stations play a crucial role in the reintroduction project: Because without a stable, so-called reserve population of animals that are kept and bred in human care, there are no animals that can be released into the wild,” explains Jörg Beckmann.