23 Feb 2024

Lifeline for Africa's Misunderstood Vultures: Over 160 Relocated in South Africa Conservation Effort


Conservation group VulPro has relocated 163 endangered African vultures over 1,000 kilometres from their rehabilitation centre to Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, in an effort to save the species from extinction. The relocation aims to establish new vulture populations and breeding grounds in South Africa, while also reducing disease risk from high density at the rehab facility.

Vultures play a vital ecological role as nature's clean-up crew across Africa, preventing the spread of pathogens by consuming decaying carcasses. However, misconceptions have led to the persecution of vultures in parts of the continent. Poisoning and hunting for traditional belief-based use has decimated populations in countries like South Africa. The white-headed vulture is now extinct in parts of South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province.

The relocation involved conservation groups collaborating to transport a mix of Cape and white-backed vultures to the Shamwari reserve in South Africa. The birds will be monitored via tracking devices as they adapt to their new 22,000 hectare protected habitat alongside wildlife. Education programs are also underway in communities near vulture habitats to highlight the benefits of protecting the species.

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Source: CNN

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