Southern Africa’s vulture populations are in serious decline. Of the six Savannah species found in South Africa, all are classified as either endangered or critically endangered. Current trends in important sub-populations of these species, such as in KwaZulu-Natal, are indicating that all breeding pairs of White-Headed Vultures and Lappet-Faced Vultures will be locally extinct within the next few years.
- White-Headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis): Critically Endangered
- White-Backed Vulture (Gyps africanus): Critically Endangered
- Lappet-Faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotos): Endangered
- Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus): Critically Endangered
- Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres): Endangered
- Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus): Critically Endangered
HOW DO WE SAVE OUR VULTURES?
The Zululand Vulture Project was initiated to provide guidance on the conservation management of vultures in KwaZulu-Natal, according to the KwaZulu-Natal Vulture Conservation Strategy. We work with our partners to conserve all the vulture species found in northern KZN region, namely the Lappet-faced Vulture, the White-backed Vulture, and the White-headed Vulture, ensuring the preservation of the birds for future generations. The project aims to implement effective research, education, protection, conservation and recovery operations to prevent further decline of the species.
The project endeavours to capture vultures throughout Zululand to attach identification tags and rings as well as collect important biological data. The identification tags and rings allow us to track vulture movements when the public report sightings. In addition to this, some vultures are fitted with high-tech GPS backpacks in order the gather more detailed data about their movement patterns.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Aside from much-needed donor support, you can help this cause by reporting tagged vulture sightings. If you see a tagged vulture in Southern Africa, please record the identification number and species (if possible) along with the GPS (or physical) location. If you can, snap a photograph of the animal with the ID tag displayed. This information can be passed onto firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The more information we are able to accrue, the better equipped we will be able to understand the status of our vulture populations and improve our monitoring of this critically important species.