Drugs in the blood of Griffon vultures
Presence of drugs in the blood of Griffon vultures
Ignasi Marco Sánchez
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

In 2011, the Calldetenes-Osona Bird Ringing Group (GACO) began a project to ring and wing tag griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), in order to study their migrations and identify the recent problematic behaviour of the population. The study we are proposing will be based on blood samples obtained from these captured animals.


The primary objective is to determine the presence of diclofenac and other drugs in the blood of griffon vultures. The study would use the samples obtained from animals that are captured at the Oris rubbish dump (Osona), where between 500 and 800 vultures are captured every year. The study will be accompanied by the project 'Diclofenac and other anti-inflammatory drugs in avian scavengers in the Iberian Peninsula', funded by the US Morris Animal Foundation. This project carries out an investigation on these pharmaceuticals in dead scavenger birds, based on organ samples taken from animals that arrive dead at, or die in, Spanish and Portuguese wildlife recovery centres.


The second objective will be to determine the vultures’ state of health by carrying out a basic blood analysis (blood count and blood biochemistry).