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In 1986 the return of the largest bird species in the European Alps started with the release of 4 zoo-born Bearded Vultures. The methods of enforced breeding and rearing has been developed by Alpenzoo Innsbruck, where the continuous breeding results since 1973 gave the initiative for the International Bearded Vulture Reintroduction Program. Nearly 40 Zoos and 5 Breeding Centres are organised by the EEP under the chair of Dr. Hans Frey, Vet. med. Univ. of Vienna, Austria. Under the umbrella of WWF, Frankfurt Zoological Society and some other conservation bodies, the releasing and monitoring program is in progress to establish a stable population of Bearded Vultures in the Alps. Within 20 years from 1986 up to 2006 146 fledglings have been released on 12 sites across the Alps. In 2007 in addition 8 zoo-born specimens were at disposal. In 1997 the first successful breeding in the field occurred. Within 10 years 43 offspring have been raised by their parents in the wild.
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