Greater than 150 critically-endangered vultures poisoned to demise, many dismembered in southern Africa

At the least 150 critically-endangered vultures had been poisoned to demise in separate incidents in Botswana and South Africa, conservationists mentioned Friday, warning the killings pushed the birds nearer to extinction. Vulture poisoning will not be unusual in wildlife-rich southern Africa, the place they’re focused by poachers as a result of they draw undesirable consideration to their unlawful actions.

The birds’ heads are additionally utilized in conventional medication, in line with wildlife teams.

Within the newest incidents, greater than 50 white-backed vultures had been discovered lifeless in Botswana’s northern Chobe district on Friday, whereas about 100 extra had been found in South Africa’s Kruger Nationwide Park on Thursday, in line with vulture conservation group Vulpro. The group mentioned the chook’s heads, ft and organs had been eliminated.

We sadly finish this week with some exceptionally unhappy information. Over the past 2 days, 150 vultures have been poisoned…

Posted by VulPro on Thursday, August 11, 2022

“Vulture populations can’t stand up to these losses and the specter of extinction creeps ever nearer,” the group mentioned in a Fb publish.

In each instances, the birds died after feeding from the carcass of a buffalo that appeared to have been laced with poison, mentioned Vulpro founder Kerri Wolter.

“What makes this much more catastrophic is that it is breeding season,” Wolter informed AFP, explaining that chicks wouldn’t survive with out their dad and mom.

Park officers in South Africa mentioned they had been investigating the incident, including that a number of the carcasses appeared to have been harvested for his or her physique components.

“Given the crucial standing of vultures globally, poisonings at this scale place the species at growing danger of extinction,” Yolan Friedmann, the top of the Endangered Wildlife Belief conservation group, mentioned in an announcement on the Kruger incident.

The white-backed vulture is listed on the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) “crimson checklist” of critically-endangered chook species.

One of many largest vulture deaths recorded in recent times in Botswana was in 2019, when 537 carcasses had been found within the Chobe sport reserve.

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