Identification of Griffon vulture’s flight types using high-resolution tracking data

Sam Khosravifard*, Valentijn Venus, Andrew K. Skidmore, Willem Bouten, Antonio R. Muñoz, Albertus G. Toxopeus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Downloads (Pure)


Being one of the most frequently killed raptors by collision with wind turbines, little is known about the Griffon vulture’s flight strategies and behaviour in a fine scale. In this study, we used high-resolution tracking data to differentiate between the most frequently observed flight types of the Griffon, and evaluated the performance of our proposed approach by an independent observation during a period of 4 weeks of fieldwork. Five passive flight types including three types of soaring and two types of gliding were discriminated using the patterns of measured GPS locations. Of all flight patterns, gliding was classified precisely (precision = 88%), followed by linear and thermal soaring with precision of 83 and 75%, respectively. The overall accuracy of our classification was 70%. Our study contributes a baseline technique using high-resolution tracking data for the classification of flight types, and is one step forward towards the collision management of this species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-325
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • animal movement
  • animal tracking
  • collision
  • gliding
  • linear soaring
  • slope soaring
  • Spain
  • spiral gliding
  • telemetry
  • wind turbine

Cite this