Poisoned griffon vultures

Vultures killed by poisoning in Castilla y Leon

Pretty terrible news coming from Castilla y Leon this week with around 100 vultures killed by pestide that was possibly ingested first by some sheep that later died and were scavenged upon. (Or, the sheep had been baited with the poison and left out for scavengers to eat)

The affected scavenging birds consumed the remains of four sheep that had died next to a cornfield. The agents are considering all the possibilities, including the likelihood that the episode may have been intentional, targeting predators or even vultures. They are also investigating whether the origin of the poisoning comes from some type of agricultural treatment that may have poisoned the sheep, which then affected the vulture feeding on their carcasses, possibly causing secondary poisoning. Today the Guardia Civil anti-poisoning dog unit from Madrid has joined the search to detect poisons. This morning, blood and tissue samples from the carrion and the dead animals were sent to the Toxicology and Forensic Veterinary Service of the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Murcia to help determine the toxic substances used.

When first reported there were 56 dead birds (54 Griffon Vultures, one Cinereous Vulture and one Black Kite) and 41 alive (38 Griffon Vultures and 3 Cinereous Vultures). Some birds that were sent to recuperation centres have since died making the total dead almost 100.

The Toxicology and Forensic Veterinary Service of the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Murcia received the results of the analysis of the samples from 3 Griffon Vultures, a Cinereous Vulture, a Black kite and two sheep. They confirmed the presence of carbofuran in all the samples submitted, one of the most toxic carbamate pesticides banned for use in the European Union since December 2007. 

Read the full story at the Vulture Conservation Foundation here: https://www.4vultures.org/nearly-100-vultures-fall-victim-to-suspected-mass-poisoning-in-castilla-y-leon-spain/

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