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Vulture tracked by satellite flies 32,000 kilometers in one year

A small vulture named Midas which was fitted with a satellite transmitter in central Türkiye’s Eskisehir province, recently returned to his point of departure after flying 32,000 kilometers (19,884 miles) and covering nine countries in a year. 

The vulture was caught as a result of the work carried out as part of the “Small Vulture Conservation Project” conducted by the Eskisehir Metropolitan Municipality Zoo Directorate and the KuzeyDoga Association.

Midas is an Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), which is listed among the species at risk of extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. He was released to his natural environment on April 23, 2022 after being ringed and fitted with a satellite transmitter.

The vulture spent about five months around Eskisehir and started migrating to the south in September as the weather grew cooler.

Midas passed through Iskenderun on Sept. 17, 2022 and then Syria, Jordan, Israel and Egypt.

During his journey to Egypt, he passed through the Suez Canal and reached Libya and then Chad in five days.

Entering Chad on Sept. 26, he fed here until Nov. 3 and then moved on to Sudan.

After his seven-day journey, Midas settled in the city of Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan State.

The vulture, which lived in areas close to settlements in Sudan during the winter months, then crossed into South Sudan and roamed settlement and steppe areas of Unity State.

After staying here for about 5.5 months, Midas began his return journey.

When Midas crossed Jordan, Egyptian deserts and reached the Suez Canal, he reconnected to the route he migrates from and passed through almost the same places and entered Türkiye from Iskenderun on April 3 this year.

Midas, who came to Türkiye to spend the summer, completed his migration journey by settling in Eskisehir, the point where he was ringed, after a three-day journey.

During this journey, Midas made his highest altitude flight at 7,436 meters while passing between Mersin and Adana provinces.

Midas’ fastest flight was recorded at 126 kilometers (78 miles) per hour.

It covered the longest non-stop flight distance between Türkiye and Syria with 117 kilometers (72 miles).

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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