There are two species of vulture resident to the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains, the Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis), which is listed as critically endangered, and the Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres), which has recently been uplisted to endangered. The Cape Vulture is a regional endemic, occurring only in Southern Africa. The Bearded Vulture has experienced a drastic decline in its range over the past few centries and is now restricted to the Maloti-Drakensberg Mountains.
The three vulture species that form the focus of the Zululand Vulture Project are the White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus), the White-headed Vulture (Aegypius occipitalis) and the Lappet-faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotos). The numbers of these vultures have dropped drastically in the last 30 years with the White-backed Vulture and White-headed Vulture now listed as critically endangered, and the Lappet-faced Vulture as endangered.
Vultures play an important ecological, economic, eco-tourism, cultural and aesthetic role. They are truly deserving of our efforts to ensure a future for these magnificent vulture species in the southern African skies.