Italian-Canarian project for the conservation of the Egyptian Vulture
This type of vulture not only exists on the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote, but also in the Italian regions of Basilicata, Calabria, Puglia and Sicily, which are home to only approximately twelve pairs, with the numbers dropping by more than 80% over the last 50 years.
With the aim of continuing with the conservation tasks for this species, which began in the Canary Islands last century at the end of the ‘90s and in order to implement initiatives to prevent the extinction of the species in Italy, Enel presents the LIFE programme, a conservation project for the Egyptian Vulture between the Canary Islands and Italy. In June 2017, the European Commission approved this conservation improvement project, 75% of which is co-financed by the EU and which amounts to 5 million euros.
This LIFE project will be carried out between 2017 and 2022 and it will form part of the targets set by Enel Distribución and Endesa Distribución in the area of the environment. It includes initiatives such as captive breeding and reintroducing the vulture chicks born in captivity into their natural habitat, the protection of nesting sites, the creation of feeding points and combating the use of poisoned baits.
In Italy, the project will be led by e-distribuzione, Enel’s distribution company in Italy, together with other Italian partners - ISPRA, Regione Puglia, Basilicata, Federparchi-. Direct interventions will be carried out to favour the Egyptian Vulture by installing new insulation systems on over 500 electric pylons, covering an area of approximately 50 kilometres of medium-voltage power lines located in sensitive areas for the species, thus minimising the risk of electrocution incidents.
In the Canary Islands, Endesa Distribución, in collaboration with the Government of the Canary Islands and GESPLAN, will carry out interventions to insulate around 220 perch sites, covering an area of around 22 kilometres of medium-voltage power lines located in areas in which the Egyptian Vulture lives in Fuerteventura and Lanzarote.