International commitment is needed now from over 120 countries to ensure the recovery of 15 vulture species.
African-Eurasian Vultures are the most threatened group of terrestrial migratory birds on the planet. Many have extensive soaring migrations (and a Rüppell's Vulture Gyps rueppelli was recorded as the world's highest-flying bird when it collided with an airliner), and their massive ranges mean that their safety can only be guaranteed if many countries come together and agree on a plan for their protection. This is where BirdLife International's work comes in, supported by Partners around the world, with the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) providing a key platform.
It's a huge problem and a huge area, so we have made an appropriate plan: namely, the Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP), developed by BirdLife, the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Vulture Specialist Group and Vulture Conservation Foundation, under the guidance of the CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MOU), with input from numerous individual experts on vultures and their conservation.
"We as conservation organisations recognise the importance of vultures and are doing all we can to save them, but this colossal task needs action on an unprecedented scale through the support of governments as well as the private sector and many others", says Roger Safford, Senior Programme Manager, Preventing Extinctions, BirdLife International. The comprehensive action plan sets out actions, and links to practical guidance, for governments of the 128 countries in Africa and Eurasia that have vultures (Vulture Range States), and other stakeholders, on preventing poisoning, avoiding electrocution and collisions with energy infrastructure, tackling persecution and illegal trade, restoring habitat, and ensuring natural food supplies.