Bearded Vulture

Project Objectives

The Bearded Vulture Biodiversity Management Plan and the Cape Vulture Action Plan have been put in place by the Bearded Vulture and Cape Vulture Task Forces of the Endangered Wildlife Trusts’ Bird of Prey Working Group.These documents have been put in place to ensure the long-term survival of the species, which will ultimately be achieved by stopping population declines, stabilising the populations, and beginning to grow the populations to a realistic carrying capacity, whilst ensuring breeding success.

The objectives set out here for both species have been compiled by role players and have been accepted as specific, relevant and realistic.

Objectives of the Bearded Vulture Biodiversity Management Plan

  • Determine the causes of mortality and how mortality varies in space and time.
  • Determine the survival rate of the species to understand whether age specific survival or breeding success is inhibiting population growth structure.
  • Examine changes in breeding population size and range.
  • Determine the spatial and temporal foraging range use of non-breeding individuals and the environmental influences on the use of home range.
  • Supplement natural carcass availability through an intensive feeding programme, i.e. feeding sites which are well located and managed and providing a safe food source.
  • Promote Bearded Vulture conservation planning into existing land-use planning systems, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) processes and stewardship programmes to mitigate the impacts of infrastructural developments and tourism activities on the population.
  • Address the threat of poisoning.
  • Determine the impacts of global climate change and global warming on Bearded Vulture.
  •  Address the use of vultures in illegal trade and traditional medicine.
  • Address the lack of partnerships between the various stakeholders, role-players, and interested and affected parties to obtain support for the BMP and its implementation.
  • Address legal discrepancies regarding Bearded Vulture conservation.
  • Create an awareness around the species and its conservation status.
  • Address the lack of knowledge of outcomes of previous interventions.
  • Address the lack of adequate protection for the species.
  • Initiate captive breeding programme

See the full document here:

Bearded Vulture Biodiversity Management Plan 2013

Objectives of the Cape Vulture Action Plan

  • Expand the supplementary feeding programme, increasing the availability of safe, suitably positioned  food for vulture consumption
  • Mitigate wind energy, create sensitivity maps, continue satellite tracking
  • Mitigation of energy structures (power line electrocution & collisions)
  • Create a better understanding of traditional use of vultures. Review the traditional use trade strategy.
  • Collect and analyse data to facilitate adaptive management of cape vultures
  • Assess quality and quantity of food available to cape vultures
  • Reduce and mitigate the number of vulture poisonings. Pursue various opportunities regionally and nationally
  • Understand and address the threat of vulture use in traditional beliefs
  • Reduce Cape Vulture electrocutions and collisions.  Identify high risk areas and monitor power line risks
  • Create awareness of the plight of vultures. Set up a national educational campaign. Target farmers, general public, schools, media etc.

The Zululand Vulture Tagging Project  falls under the Zululand Vulture Project,  and has been running since 2009 with the collaboration of the Endangered Wildlife Trust Birds of Prey Working Group, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Wildlife ACT – with support from Eskom, Raptor Rescue and private landowners.

The project focuses on 3 species of tree-nesting vultures (African White-Backed, Lappet-Faced and White-Headed). The fieldwork conducted is part of an overall strategy to study and conserve vultures in KwaZulu-Natal. The process involves using a cherry picker to reach the nests and then removing any vulture chicks from the nest and tagging them with patagial (wing) tags. Blood samples are also taken which allows for valuable data collection.

Objectives of the Zululand Vulture Tagging Project

  • Determine the causes of mortality.
  • Determine the survival rate of the species, and what influences or inhibits population growth.
  • Examine changes in breeding population size and range.
  • Promote vulture conservation through the involvement of volunteers, students, researchers, landowners and other interested parties.
  • Address the threat of poisoning.
  •  Address the use of vultures in illegal trade and traditional medicine.
  • Create an awareness around the species and its conservation status.


Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project