Bearded Vulture in Flight

Mission

The Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project works to conserve the Bearded and Cape Vulture species in the Maloti-Drakensberg region, in both South Africa and Lesotho, ensuring the preservation of the birds for future generations. We aim to implement effective research, education, protection, conservation and recovery operations to prevent further decline of the species.

The Bearded and Cape Vulture Task forces have been and will continue to monitor and track the birds via satellite transmitters in order to observe ranging behaviour and species survival, and will continue to spread a “vulture culture” awareness amongst the public and in particular in farming communities and schools in the region, in both South Africa and Lesotho. In doing so we hope to eliminate the myths associated with these birds and the threats which face the species, in order to ensure the longevity of these indigenous vultures.

In addition, plans are in motion to start a captive breeding programme, following methods successfully implemented in Europe, where the birds will be raised in captivity until they are ready to fledge, after which they are released into the wild. The breeding programme is aiming to release Bearded vultures into the wild by 2017, in order to boost the population. We can only hope that the clock has not struck twelve for these awe inspiring vultures by the time this programme comes into effect.

In short, the Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project aims to ensure the survival of the protected species of the Bearded and Cape Vulture through:

  • Continuing to research and monitor breeding status, breeding success, movements and mortality rates.
  • Conserving their breeding and foraging ranges,  raising awareness around the impact that infrastructure such as the Letšeng Wind Farm will have on the birds survival.
  • Educating communities on the important ecological role that the vultures play.
  • Garnering public support and generating awareness of the threatened species.
  • Implement an effective breeding programme to boost the species.
  • Conserve the vulture species for future generations by addressing threats to the species, in particular poisoning.
Bearded Vulture
Bearded Vulture

 

The Zululand Vulture Project works to conserve all the vulture species found in northern Kwazulu-Natal region, namely the Lappet-faced Vulture, the White-backed Vulture, and the White-headed Vulture, ensuring the preservation of the birds for future generations. The project aims to implement effective research, education, protection, conservation and recovery operations to prevent further decline of the species.

The Ezemvelo Kwazulu-Natal Wildlife authority provides the chairmanship role within the project Operations Committee, and assists with permits and permissions within Kwazulu-Natal, as well as providing advice on vulture management in the province.

The Endangered Wildlife Trust provides an advisory role and expertise within the Operations Committee, and assists with funding and the loan of equipment for fieldwork as approved and provided for under the Sasol Vulture Monitoring Project. The EWT also provides training in terms of the Wildlife Poisoning Protocol, and support in terms of the mitigation of threats such as power lines and direct persecution.

The Wildlife ACT Fund provides advice and technical support, as well as ground support to vulture conservation activities within Kwazulu-Natal according to the Kwazulu-Natal Vulture Conservation Strategy, and administers and dispenses, in collaboration with the Operations Committee, the funds available for the project.

In short, the Zululand Vulture Project aims to ensure the survival of the protected species of  vultures through:

  • Continuing to research and monitor breeding status, breeding success, movements and mortality rates.
  • Conserving their breeding and foraging ranges.
  • Educating communities, landowners and stakeholders on the important ecological role that the vultures play.
  • Garnering public support and generating awareness of the threatened species.
  • Conserve the vulture species for future generations by addressing threats to the species, in particular poisoning.
white-backed-vultures
White-backed Vultures – Mkhuze Game Reserve

Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project

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