Monday, July 1, 2019

Africa's Vultures need you!


The mass poisoning reported 20 June of 537 African vultures on three elephant carcases in Botswana highlights the need for immediate and effective conservation action to avert the complete loss of vultures and their scavenging service from this magnificent continent. The human and environmental health cost of losing Asian vultures has been astronomical with increases in disease.

"The biggest tool that we all have to deal with this difficult problem is public awareness, to reach as many hearts and minds as we can".

We need to do everything we can to stop this from happening in Africa, but it is said there are ‘miles and miles of bloody Africa’ – where in this vastness, patrolled and surveyed by these highly mobile birds, do we focus our efforts? 

This daunting question is addressed by a mapping project coordinated by Ralph Buij, Corinne Kendall and Ara Monadjem, funded largely by the Dutch Government and supported by many others, for which habitat INFO was very happy to assist with. All the researchers currently working on vultures in Africa generously shared all their amazing tracking data on where these birds are moving with us, and we drew on thousands of sightings of the birds from the African Raptor Databank to produce a series of maps to measure and show exactly how much habitat space these birds have left and where this overlaps to reveal habitat strongholds for multiple vulture species where conservationists can make most effective use of their efforts.

Please grab a poster to help vultures
Free poster to download to help conservationists


We also mapped the threats that African vultures face and it is of no great consolation that the site of the recent poisoning in northern Botswana was predicted in maps T7,8,9. We want these maps to be out there and used by as many vulture allies as possible. The biggest tool that we all have to deal with this difficult problem is public awareness, to reach as many hearts and minds as we can. The free poster at the top of this page is designed to summarise the results for the public, highlighting the strongholds and danger areas for vultures and providing summaries of their conservation status. Please share this link to the poster and the maps so that these results are used to help swing the balance back in favour of these useful and amazing birds. Share it, download it, print it and please put it up on a wall somewhere!




Blog article by Rob Davies.

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