INTERNATIONAL VULTURE AWARENESS

On September 05, 2009 more than a 100 organizations will celebrate International Vulture Awareness Day around the World.

Vulture awareness and conservation are being actively promoted by organizations such as Vultures Namibia, Rare and Endangered Species Trust, Raptors Namibia and NARREC. Workshops on the correct and ethical use of poison on livestock farms, ringing of birds, talks with conservancies, schools and the local media have made Namibians aware of the plight of the vulture.

These are the most commonly found Vultures in Namibia:

White-backed vulture

Lappet-faced vulture

Cape vulture

White-hooded vulture

Here is a look at the main causes of deaths and threats to the natural vulture populations in Namibia:

-Poisoning of Vultures remains a huge threat to the country’s vulture populations. Poison is often used by livestock farmers in their fight against varmint like Jackal, Wild cats, Feral dogs and Hyena, these predators cause stock losses and a substantial financial loss to the livestock farmer. Vultures die mainly from this type of secondary poisoning.

-Improved farming methods means less domestic animal deaths on livestock farms therefore less food for vultures

-Due to Namibia’s increased popularity as a tourist destination breeding sites that was once off the beaten track are disturbed and even destroyed with the building of lodges and camp sites in remote wilderness areas thus resulting in eggs and chicks being abandoned

-Poaching of wild naturally occurring game in certain areas caused game to move, leaving these areas with no natural game to sustain vulture populations.

-Man made structures; vultures collide with power lines and injure or electrocute themselves.

VIERANAS SAFARIS applaud the continued promotion of vulture awareness in Namibia and their importance and value to a balanced eco-system. We strongly condemn the use of poisons and trapping of all Raptors!

We’ve had four sightings of White-backed and Lappet-faced vultures in our main hunt area in the north-western region of Namibia and are very happy to report a pair of Black Eagles are nesting in the area as well.

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