The griffon vulture

The griffon vulture: the emblem of the Basque Country mountains

Did you know that the Basque Country is home to the largest reserve of birds of prey in Europe? Among them, the griffon vulture is one of the most emblematic and fascinating to observe.

The griffon vulture is an impressive bird of prey, symbol of freedom and power. It is also a scavenger bird, which feeds mainly on animal corpses. This large bird, with its inimitable silhouette, is very present in the mountains of the Basque Country, especially near the most important reserve of raptors in Europe.

The griffon vulture is one of the largest birds of prey in Europe, with a wingspan that can reach 2.80 meters. Its silhouette is easily recognizable, with its broad wings and reddish-brown feathers. Young vulturesare darker in color than adults. Their hooked beaks and powerful talons are perfect adaptations for their feeding.

         The griffon vulture in the Basque Country at Uhina rafting center         

In the Basque Country, the Griffon vulture is present in the Pyrenees, especially in the mountainous areas of the hinterland. The griffon vulture has long been threatened with extinction throughout Europe, mainly due to the reduction of its natural habitats and the decrease in available prey. In France, it has been protected since the 1970s and has since experienced a nice increase in its population. Reintroduction centers have also played an important role in the reintroduction of the species in some areas where it had disappeared.

Today, thanks to conservation and protection efforts, the griffon vulture is back in the mountains of the Basque Country. Their presence is a real asset for the biodiversity of the region. Indeed, these large birds of prey play an important role in the regulation of animal populations, especially scavengers, and thus contribute to the ecological balance of ecosystems.

Pairs of vulturesare very faithful and often form for life. Pairs set up their nests on rock faces, in the steepest areas of the mountains. Its presence is today an indicator of the quality of local ecosystems and the preservation of threatened animal species.

 But did you also know that the raptor reserve is located near our Bidarray water sports center? If you are looking to discover this majestic species of raptors, why not take the opportunity to discover the unique rafting experience we offer?

In addition to the rafting experience, you will also be able to enjoy the natural beauty of our environment and see griffon vulturesin their natural habitat. This is a unique opportunity to discover the richness of the Basque fauna and flora while having a fun and friendly time.

So why not come and join us for a unique and exciting experience, combining nature discovery and activity? We are proud to welcome you in an area classified Natura 2000 and to be the first leisure site in France certified NF Environnement. In November 2021, we even won the Trophées du Tourisme, a nice recognition for our commitment to the preservation of our exceptional environment.

Don't miss this opportunity to discover the Basque Country from a different angle and to live an unforgettable experience in rafting and in the observation of griffon vultures, but also of many other species... We are looking forward to welcoming you to our home!