The Moroccan Association for the Protection of Birds and Wildlife (AMPOVIS) is actively working in the conservation of vultures transiting through the northern part of Morocco. In recent weeks, the association has played a pioneering role in 3 major events, namely the organization of the first Ornithological Marathon between Portugal, Morocco and Spain, the first exchange travel of Spanish students at the Moroccan protected area of Jbel Moussa, and most importantly the first sighting of the Hooded Vulture in northern Morocco.


April 22, 2023: First record of the Hooded Vulture up north Morocco

During a monitoring trip of vulture populations transiting through the extreme north of Morocco, the association noted the presence of an immature Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus), accompanied by a small group of Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) in the western part of Jbel Moussa protected area.

Although highly widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, the presence of the Hooded Vulture in northern Morocco is very rare, to date only 3 observations had been recorded between 1955 and 1989. The observation made by the AMPOSIS association, the first up north, could suggest a more frequent occurrence of the species in the future. According to Rachid El Khamlichi head of the association, this trend could be explained by the influence of Egyptian Vultures and Griffon Vultures that lead, during their migration in spring from the Sahel to the north, other African vultures and in particular immatures. For more information: (PDF) First record of the Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus in Northern Morocco (

The bird was banded and released by the association, the data collected will be added in its research on vultures, their occurrence and behavior. This data base, elaborated in partnership with the National Agency of Water and Forest is essential to better understand the behaviors of African and European vultures, their interaction and conservation threats.

©AMPOVIS, Hooded Vulture

1-9 April 2023: First Ornithological Mega-Marathon

In collaboration with the Colectivo Ornitológico Cigüeña Negra (COCN), AMPOVIS organized what it calls the first Ornithological Mega-Marathon from 1 to 9 April 2023, in Portugal, Spain, the four northern provinces of Morocco, and the territory of Gibraltar. The association underlines the uniqueness of this event for its duration and the extent of the territory covered.

During this period, participants had to submit to the organizers their bird observations in the areas concerned in accordance with an ethical charter in order to minimize disturbances to the individuals observed. Many ornithological associations, experts and avifauna enthusiasts were present and received a certificate of participation issued by the COCN. Four categories of prizes were awarded to the teams:

  • Highest number of species observed
  • The highest number of birds observed
  • The highest number of bird rings observed
  • The largest number of transects (10x10km) traveled

©AMPOVIS, Booted eagle

March 30, 2023: Welcome of professors and students from the University of Malaga at the AP of Jbel Moussa

As part of the PPI OSCAN 3 project “Contribution to the conservation of the Rüppell Vulture and the enhancement of Birdwatching in the Jbel Moussa AP”, the association AMPOSIS, in partnership with the National Agency for Water and Forests (ANEF), welcomed 8 professors and 27 students of the “Master in Biological Biodiversity and Environment” of the University of Malaga – Spain in the Jbel Moussa Protected Area in northern Morocco.

Visitors enjoyed a hike with local guides trained by AMPOVIS, during which the association made them aware of the biodiversity of the Jbel Moussa AP and its work to monitor migrating vultures and raptors. An activity that meets the objective of the association to promote responsible tourism in the protected area and respectful of ecosystems, while developing sustainable income-generating activities for the benefit of the local population.

©AMPOVIS, educational camp for students from Malaga