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The bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) is listed as vulnerable in Europe on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List because of population declines over multiple generations. Vulture population declines have been attributed to shooting, use of toxicants, and changes in land use, which have resulted in habitat degradation and increased anthropogenic disturbances. Concomitantly, conservation authorities have restricted practices deemed harmful to the species and have established protection buffers around occupied vulture breeding sites to mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on breeding success. Comor et al. (2019) compared bearded vulture breeding success over 6 years within and outside areas with restricted activities in the western French Pyrenees and assessed distances between vultures and hunting parties. They concluded that hunting was not a threat to species conservation and may even benefit vultures by providing alternative food resource. We dispute the conclusions of Comor et al. (2019) and present concerns about the data used, the study design, and the inferences taken from some of the data presented. Herein we provide arguments and rationale to support our opinion.
Duriez, Olivier; Margalida, Antoni; Albert, Luc; Arroyo, Beatriz; Couanon, Virginie; Loustau, Hélène; Razin, Martine; and Mihoub, Jean-Baptiste
"Tolerance of Bearded Vultures to Human Activities: Response to Comor et al. (2019),"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 14:
3, Article 21.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol14/iss3/21