Modern Dangers to Vultures

Vultures all around the world are in danger of becoming extinct.  Conservation groups fight an uphill battle every day to save them; terrifyingly there are so many different problems to deal with to save our vultures: 1. Overcrowding / Loss of habitat With more people crowding into areas, vultures are losing their habitats at an alarming rate.  Houses are closer to breeding colonies, so when young vultures learn to fly they land in all sorts of trouble like swimming pools, dogs, electric fences and roads.

These Flappers are placed on the thin wire above the power cable, so that birds can see the wire and avoid an accident.
These Flappers are placed on the thin wire above the power cable, so that birds can see the wire and avoid an accident.

2. Power Lines and Telephone Cables Power lines are a terrible problem for vultures.  They have a thin wire which runs above the thick electrical cable.  The thin wire is not easy to see.  Companies like Eskom can fit bird flappers on to these thin wires so that the vultures can see them easily. 3. Poison and dangerous veterinary medicines Certain medicines used on horses and farm animals, is poisonous to vultures and they die.  Because vultures are so social and feed in large numbers, hundreds of vultures can die from one poisoned carcass. 4. Poaching Poachers need to get as far away from any animals that they have killed to make sure that they don’t get caught.  Vultures are so talented at spotting carcasses that the poachers are at risk of being found.  To stop this they lace any poached carcasses with poison to kill any vultures that discover it.  This can lead to hundreds of vultures dying, as well as any chicks that they may have at the time.

Vulture flying at VulPro above the power lines with a new bird flapper fitted
Vulture flying at VulPro above the power lines with a new bird flapper fitted

5. Wind Farms Wind Farms pose another danger to vultures, especially when they are placed close to feeding sites or breeding colonies and on major flight paths or “Vulture Highways”.  Their vanes reach up really high and spin deceptively fast.

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