TRO, the one-eyed male of fierce and haughty character, as if it were a pirate of legend, appeared drowned in a reservoir more than 10 km from the point of release.
He spend half life entered in the center of GREFA. And we had hoped that the other half would it release, together with other black vultures of Pyrenean colony.
But he had no such fortune.
Four months had passed since he came out of the crate. During that time he had attached a quiet area, with good visibility, where watched the go and come from their peers. Some crossed long, but others stopped next to him and shared even the feast that we provide you from time to time.
He was slowly working out flight techniques. Progress was slow, but unstoppable. In mid-February he began making timid lifts and we already imagined it in one of the feeders in the area for the vultures, completely independent of our efforts.
The latest generation GPS-GSM device , funded by REE, had stopped issuing after his release. The solar battery to recharge, need that the bird is in flight or keep the wings open long. And he remained too much time for recharge to be effective.
That is why our surprise was when the issuer commanded suddenly a position, on the shore of the reservoir of Talarn, away from their usual place.
The corpse of TRO was found by Gerard Plana ,rocked by waves and partially submerged.
To the point we notify to Jordi Pont, from the patrol antivenom of Rurals Agents of Lleida, to collect the body following the protocol of action in such cases.
Necropsy performed on the CR of Vallcallent by the veterinary chief, Olga Nicholas, and the head of the Department of veterinary medicine of GREFA, Fernando González, displaced by the way from Madrid, did not offer any reliable clues. Shooting, or signs of shock or severe trauma. The stomach was empty. Extracted samples for subsequent clinical and toxicological analyses.
The specimen showed an excellent body condition.
What could happen to TRO so it could precipitate in mid-flight over the water?
To this day, it is a complete mystery.
Mario Alvarez/Emilie Delepoulle/flat/Aleix Gérard Millet
The reintroduction project of the Black Vulture in the Pyrenees is promoted by the Departament d’Agricultura, Ramaderia, Pesca, Alimentació i Medi Natural de la Generalitat de Catalunya and by the Fundació Catalunya – La Pedrera. GREFA and Trenca are involved in the assisment and implementation of the Project, toghether with the staff of the Espai Natura Muntanya d’Alinyà and the rangers of the NHR of Boumort. The Estació Biològica del Pallars Jussà carries out several educational actions related to the project. REE is markedly engaged in financing the transmitters that allow us to radio track the black vultures from the project.