Nest-site preference of Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) in Herzegovina
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Although formerly an abundant species, the Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus Hablizl, 1783) has undergone a dramatic decline in Herzegovina. Such an unfavorable trend may be associated with frequent poisoning incidents (consumption of poisoned baits), shortage of food and hunting. This species disappeared from its breeding habitats in Herzegovina during the last decade of the 20th century. The extinction was probably caused by military activities during the civil war. Using data that were collected over a period of long-term (1980-1991) monitoring of the breeding population, we discovered optimal environmental conditions for the nesting of the Eurasian Griffon Vulture in Herzegovina. Information on nest-site preference is valuable for conservation programs and the possible reintroduction of the Eurasian Griffon, not only in Herzegovina, but also to a much wider region. During the study period, we observed 61 nests and 252 nesting cases in four colonies of Eurasian Griffon Vulture. Most nests were located on limestone and dolomite rocks. The average altitude of nests was 378 m a.s.l.; most of nests (85%) were located below 500 m a.s.l. Also, the majority of nests were located on west-exposed sites.