Cres and its surrounding islands are some of the few last remaining habitats for this bird species in Europe.
On the occasion of the International Vulture Day, educational programmes on Eurasian griffon vulture will be organised at the Zagreb Zoo and at the Visitors and Recovery Centre for Griffon Vultures on the island of Cress, reports Jutarnji List on August 29, 2018.
Griffons are one of four species of vultures living in Europe, and the only one remaining in Croatia.
They play an important role in the ecosystem by preventing the potential spread of infections. Due to their vulnerability, they are strictly protected, and the only remaining colony in Croatia is nesting on the Kvarner islands, primarily Cres. Citizens and especially tourists are often unaware of their role in the ecosystem, as well as the fact that there are few such birds living in Europe.
The programmes aim to demonstrate the importance of protecting these magnificent birds.
On Friday, August 31, the Zagreb Zoo will present a lecture “The Story of the Kvarner Griffon Vultures”. Participants will be informed about the griffons which have been released into nature after their recovery in the centre on Cres. The birds were rescued by the people of Cres, visitors and tourists, and experts took care of their recovery until their release into the wild. The birds now carry GPS transmitters which enable their movements to be monitored.
A day later, on Saturday, an educational corner on griffons will be set up at the ZOO. Youngest visitors will be able to try out the game Life of Griffons and take part in a workshop. A short documentary about the rescue and recovery of the vultures will be presented.
Interesting programmes will take place on Cres as well. The Visitor and Recovery Centre will have open door days on Saturday and Sunday. From 10 am to 6 pm, visitors can enjoy free entrance and tour of the exhibitions, while children can take part in workshops.
There are only about a hundred pairs of griffons living in Croatia today, and their nests are on Cres, Krk, Plavnik and Prvić. Nests are always located on vertical cliffs above the sea. Because of this, young birds often die during their first flights, often due to harassment from tourist ships. The cooperation of the Centre with the local community is extremely important for the survival of the vultures.
The griffon vultures today have a significant cultural significance and are considered to be the symbol of the island of Cres.
Translated from Jutarnji List.