Three bird species under threat in SA

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iol scitech june 14 White-backed Vulture

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The White-backed Vulture, the most widespread and common vulture in Africa, has been uplisted by two categories: from near-threatened to endangered. Picture: Paballo Thekiso

Johannesburg - The International Union for Conservation in Nature 2012 Red List for birds says three bird species in South Africa are under threat, according to Birdlife South Africa, Beeld reported on Thursday.

The White-backed Vulture, the most widespread and common vulture in Africa, has been uplisted by two categories: from near-threatened to endangered.

The species is undergoing a rapid decline in population numbers and faces similar threats to all the other African vultures.

In East Africa, White-backed Vultures are primarily threatened by toxic pesticides; whereas in southern Africa they are used for the muthi trade.

The second species, the Grey Crowned Crane, has been uplisted from vulnerable to endangered. This species’ survival is largely threatened by habitat loss and the illegal trade of birds and eggs from the wild which has driven an especially rapid decline during the past 45 years.

The third species, the Crowned Eagle, a widespread species in sub-Saharan Africa, has been globally uplisted from least concern to near-threatened. This species is undergoing a decline due to a number of threats, including deforestation across the African continent.

Birdlife South Africa has also warned that mining activity near sensitive eco-systems is increasnigly placing South Africa's birds under severe threat. - Sapa

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