Dimitar I. Nenov,
Diana P. Zlatanova,
Emilian H. Stoynov,
Hristo V. Peshev,
Atanas P. Grozdanov

Reference to article

Nenov D.I., Zlatanova D.P., Stoynov E.H., Peshev H.V., Grozdanov A.P. 2018. Feeding site usage by griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in Bulgaria revealed by camera traps. Nature Conservation Research 3(2). DOI: 10.24189/ncr.2018.020

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A group of griffon vultures in Kresna Gorge was studied for its visit on the feeding station next to Rakitna Village after being reintroduced in the area. A camera trap method was used for a better understanding of the breeding behaviour of the griffon vulture, including the intra- and inter-species relations. A statistically significant difference was found between the independent feeding events during the pre-incubation and incubation periods of vultures. The duration of those events also differs, the ones in the second period being longer. Furthermore, a statistically significant difference was observed between the number of vultures per photo for the two sample periods, as a result of a different number of unmarked wild birds and different activity patterns of the nesting pairs. In spite of the fact that the terrestrial predators are also active during the night, their daytime presence leads to a high enough overlap between the two ecological groups, showing that the carnivores are a disturbance factor for the scavengers. The raven is the most abundant species at the feeding site and thus is a food competitor to the griffon vulture. The two species have adapted their behaviour to use the feeding station more successfully during the different biological periods. A significant decrease in the activity overlap between the individuals of the successfully nesting pairs was observed on the feeding station after the beginning of the incubation period. On the other hand, the activity overlap of the unsuccessfully nesting pairs increased in the second sample period. Camera traps can be used in further studies of the mating ecology for individual breeding pairs, when a direct observation on the nest is hard or impossible. This can be a cheap alternative of the time-consuming field observations.


breeding and non-breeding pairs, camera trap, griffon vulture

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Received: 31.01.2018

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