Africa’s vulture populations face the prospect of collapsing in much the same way as vulture species in Asia, experts warn, having already declined by an average 62 percent over the past three decades. Key threats include poisoning by ranchers and poachers and for belief-based use, as well as accidental drowning in farm water reservoirs and ingestion of lead ammunition. To address the threats, managers of conservation areas and private game reserves in South Africa have agreed to create “vulture safe zones” that will do away with these practices to provide safe havens for existing vulture populations. Conservationists say it’s also important for managers in South Africa to work with their counterparts in neighboring countries that are part of the vultures’ range, and to tackle the trade in vulture parts used in traditional medicine practices. Howick, SOUTH AFRICA – The first of at least five new “vulture safe zones” in Southern Africa are about to take off as private landowners and other partners join the battle to save Africa’s imperilled carrion clean-up birds. Africa’s vulture populations have declined by an average of 62 percent over the last three decades – with seven species crashing by 80 percent – mirroring the […]

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