The bearded vulture (gypaetus barbatus) is the rarest one in Lozère. In fact, they do not reproduce before the age of 8, which slows down its evolution in terms of population. When the time is right, it builds a nest made of wool and branches in the cliffs’ hollows where it will lay one to two eggs per year. Less sociable than griffon vultures, they prefer places isolated from other species.
The bearded vulture is also called "bone breaker" because of its diet. Indeed, this vulture erases any ultimate trace of animal corpses on the ground. Once the others have taken care of the flesh, the entrails, tendons and cartilages, this one breaks the bones using its strong and fleshy beak and feeds on it. It is able to swallow bones up to 30cm and digests them very well. Final squarer of the chain, it gets rid of any corpse and finalizes nature’s cleaning in the healthiest way possible.
The bearded vulture is very little used to human presence and is only rarely seen. Between Lozère and Aveyron, only 3 couples live in this vast territory. They have difficulty integrating into the local biotope and reproduce only very weakly.
- Wingspan: 2.60 m to 2.90 m
- Weight: 5 to 7 kg
- Plumage: orange-beige to black, red-circled eye