By Shaun Hurrell, Thu, 22/10/2015 - 13:11
“I can’t imagine Africa’s skies devoid of vultures,” said BirdLife South Africa’s Chief Executive, Mark Anderson, when he chaired a crucial meeting last week to take action against this currently ill-fated family of birds.
And it is not just the skies - you do not want to imagine how the land will look (and smell) if Africa is devoid of vultures, nature’s unique and thorough waste and carcass ‘clean-up crew’ that halts the spread of disease for free.
You see, vultures are in drastic decline in Africa and it is high-time the world fully-appreciated the severity of this problem for not only the birds themselves, but the health of the people of the continent (and their livelihoods - given the economic value of carcass removal by vultures).
“Africans, who derive direct benefits from having their vultures in their skies, must take the lead in mitigating threats to African vultures,”
said Dr Kabelo Senyatso, Director of BirdLife Botswana and current Chairman of the BirdLife Council for African Partnership.
As such, BirdLife Partner NGOs across Africa join forces and commit to playing a leading role in efforts to save the continent’s vultures. This is the conclusion of a workshop on African vultures held at the BirdLife Council for Africa Partnership Meeting in Senchi, Ghana, on 13 October 2015. The energy and warm air in that meeting room gave a real uplift towards getting vulture populations soaring once again in Africa.