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.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

From Mythical Creature to Endangered Species: The Egyptian Vulture

MAY 21, 2019

The Egyptian vulture, a bird species bearing much cultural significance in both ancient Egyptian and Greek mythology, is drastically declining in population due to various human-caused threats.

Every year, billions of different bird types migrate along a south-north axis, with the Middle East located at the crucial juncture of Africa, Asia and Europe and therefore constituting an important corridor for this seasonal movement of birds. While Egyptian vultures that breed in milder regions migrate southwards in winter, their tropical counterparts remain relatively sedentary.

A worrying trend that has recently gained the attention of bird conservationists, is that this species has been in massive decline throughout the past century. In fact, their population is considered to have halved since 1980, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Six species of vultures are currently recorded in Egypt – some being rarer than others – and while no recent study has determined the exact size of their population, they are generally in decline, Mindy Baha al-Din, bird specialist with the NGO Nature Conservation Egypt has noted.


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