Improving public perception of vultures

This project aimes to improve the public perception of vultures and to reintegrate the interdependant role they play within our society. In order to do this LPO Grands Causses is developing various communication platforms. A range of communication tools are regularly updated: posters, pamphlets, information panels on sign-posted paths, documentaries, dispalys etc. All of these are these are diffused at events organised by LPO Grands Causses and partner organisations throughout the entire area concerned (Aveyron, Lozere, Ardeche, Gard, Herault): conferences, seminars, open days, school field trips, stands at events organised by local authorities. This is to engage with a broad audience of stakeholders with regards to vultures, awareness raising is directed at very different levels: schools, local authorities, livestock farmers, hunters, politicians, general public, tourists…
The population of griffon vultures is currently expanding and their foraging area has enlarged as a result. This has brought them into areas where people aren’t used to seeing vultures so it is important for LPO Grands Causses to raise awareness in these places. We now hope to develop our communication and awareness raising activities over a much wider area and improve the public perception of vultures.

Tackling poisoning threats in raptor populations.

Poisoning of vultures is becoming increasingly frequent and represents a worldwide threat to all vulture populations. This man-made threat can be inflicted directly or indirectly upon vultures. Certain anti-inflammatory drugs used on domestic animals and remain present in their carcasses and can be toxic or life-threatening for vultures feeding upon them. Vultures can also be intoxicated by other substances artificially found within their bodies. Illegal shooting of large raptors remains an issue, even when not fatal, the shots can inflict sequelas or the side effects of the subsequent lead poisoning can remain latent. LPO Grands Causses aims to sytematically recover any dead vultures or other large raptor species for autopsy and veterinary analysis to determine the presence of leador other toxins. The second aspect of this project involves developing a routine for daily monitoring and awareness raising with various stakeholders: livestock farmers, farming bodies, local autorities, an hunters. Trials of lead-free ammunition are underway having been developed and executed in partnership with the Cevennes National Park, LPO Grands CAusses and the Hunters Federation of Lozere within the framework of a project supported by the European Commission .

Gryphon Vulture Conservation Program

The species is registred as “Least Concern” on the IUCN European red list, on the Appendix II of CITES and Annex I of EU Birds Directive. The population and its habitat are still under a strict conservation action plan. The two main threats to the species are direct mortality caused by humans (either accidentally or deliberately) and decreasing availability of food. The main cause of unnatural death is the use of poisoned baits for predator extermination.
This vulture, belongs to the scavengers group feeding on carcasses, usually the first to arrive and to feed with soft part of the carrion.
This project of Griffon vulture conservation in the Massif Central started by a first reintroduction program between 1981 and 1986 releasing 61 Griffon vultures. It’s been a real success and the current population in the Grands Causses is counted about 550 breeding pairs, precisely 441 fledges for 2017. The various actions regarding this project and carried out by LPO Grands Causses (technical structure of LPO France) are: Home range Monitoring (visual observations), breeding monitoring (follow-up of the breeding pairs establishment, the laying date and the juvenile fledging date), demographic monitoring (reading rings and data base uses), ensuring the sufficient quantities available of local and externally sourced food (plot rendering of cattle raiser, rendering hinge run by LPO Grands Causses team), habitat protection (be actor of political decisions in term of protection: creation of SPA-special protection area and other protection status), vigilance and threat management (hunting, poisoning, powerlines and wind turbines…), public awareness through various audiences.

Promoting Ecotourism for Red Panda Conservation in Central Nepal

Ghyangphedi village located to the south-east of Langtang National Park in Nuwakot district is only the nearest settlement from red panda habitat in Indreni Buffer Zone. Recent upsurge in poaching and trafficking of red panda hides in Nepal (Nepal Police arrested 70 people and confiscated 52 red panda skins, with 23 cases just in 2016, from 2013 to March 2017) indicate towards lack of conservation awareness and livelihood opportunities fueling threats to this threatened species in the area. Therefore, the project targeting sustainable livelihood improvement through red panda based ecotourism promotion has been conceptualized to benefit both underprivileged local families and endangered red panda. This project based on the Red Panda Network’s Community Based Red Panda Conservation Project of Eastern Nepal, will comprise following activities:

  • Production and endorsement of red panda based eco-tourism and homestay management guideline
  • Homestay management training on homestay operations, cuisine, hygiene and sanitation, hospitality etc. (n=30 families)
  • Nature guide training (n=15 persons)
  • Gear and equipment – binoculars, support to nature guides (n=15 sets)
  • Fuel efficient stoves for home stays (30 families)

Forest Guardian Program in Western Nepal

The project targets the Jumla, Kalikot and Jajarkot districts with non-protected status in the western complex. This area is an important geographic region as it provides habitat connectivity for red pandas between Rara National park in the west, Shey Phoksundo National park in the north and Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve in the east. The proposed area is under tremendous threat because of habitat loss, degradation, and poaching. Red Panda Network with the goal of maintaining viable population will implement Forest Guardian Program since 2017, where 40 local forest users will be trained as citizen scientists acting as local forest guardians. They will regularly carry out monitoring and share the information with their respective Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) on quarterly basis (every three months). This will help assess effectiveness of community’s intervention and adopt further measures/strategies to address the threats. Besides, these FGs will also help in awareness building of local people and anti-poaching operations as they are also trained on anti-poaching investigation techniques. This project based on the RPN’s Community Based Red Panda Conservation Project of Western Nepal, will comprise following activities:
 Training on monitoring techniques (3 events)
 Gears – Summer/winter outfits; field boot and back pack (n=40 sets)
 Equipments – GPS, binoculars (n=40 sets)

Bearcat Study Program in Palawan Island

Until now, very little research has been undertaken on the bearcat. Most of today available data on the bearcat has been collected from captive animals whose behaviour differs from the behaviour of the ones that may be observed in the wild. Thus, we do lack knowledge on bearcat behaviour in the wild, especially regarding reproduction, raising the youth, interactions between individuals, food habits, moving patterns… Without this knowledge, we cannot develop correctly a conservation program adapted to the ecology and biology needs of the bearcat.
The Bearcat Study Program in Palawan Island is a conservation program with the aims to improve the knowledges on the bearcat in various areas (reproduction, raising the youth, interactions between individuals, food habits), to update its IUCN status in case of need using the data collected from the field, and to sensitize (by sharing the collected data) the Island residents with the collaboration of the local authorities.
From February to December 2017 : improving the knowledge on the bearcat with camera trapping using tree-climbing method. 10 cameras-traps have been set up on the tree tops (between 10 and 30 meters high) in the barangay of Langogan. Every two weeks, memory cards and batteries are replaced by two local guides employed by ABConservation. The collect and data process is maked by the scientific officer in June and December 2017.From February to April 2019: improving the knowledge on the bearcat with radiotracking
• capture of wild binturongs by means of cage-traps with live baits Marking of the wild animal captured (census)
• Taking hair samples for future genetic surveys
• Taking body measurements (height and weight)
• Equipping the binturongs with a radio-collar before their release
• From February 2018 to April 2019: radio-tracking binturongs
• Collecting of data by GPS and VHF
• 2018-2019: treatment of data by the scientific officer