As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 26 June 2015

African vultures more critically endangered than previously realised

In a report published in the scientific journal Conservation Letters, scientists from across Africa, Europe, and North America have published the first continent-wide estimates of decline rates in African vultures: and find that many national parks and game reserves appear to offer vulture species in Africa little effective protection.

The international team of research scientists from The Peregrine Fund, the University of St Andrews, and Hawk Conservancy Trust, say African vultures are now likely to qualify as ‘Critically Endangered’ under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s global threat criteria.

Scavengers such as vultures are essential to a healthy ecosystem; without them carcasses are largely consumed by mammalian scavengers such as dogs and jackals and this can increase levels of disease transmission, with potential consequences for human health.

Dr Darcy Ogada of The Peregrine Fund and lead author of the study, says: “Large declines of Africa’s vultures should ring alarm bells due to their immense ecological importance.

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