Durban - Vulture poisoning has come to the fore as more than 10 carcasses were discovered in Zululand which have made the situation dire for the birds that are already fighting for survival as their numbers dwindle.
In a joint statement, Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife, Zululand Vulture Project and Wildlife Act Focused Conservation detailed events around the discovery.
“The landowner notified members of the Zululand Vulture project who initiated poison response protocols, resulting in swift action to prevent any further losses. Zap-Wing, the aerial wing of Project Rhino also dispatched an aircraft to assist ground crews in searching the area,” the organisations said in a statement.
The call came on Friday after the landowner had discovered seven African White-backed, three Lappet-faced and one White-headed vulture. The deaths come as the organisations said the African White-backed and White-headed vulture were listed as critically endangered and populations in the province had plummeted.
“What compounds matters is the approaching breeding season, and in all likelihood, some of the birds killed may well have been breeding birds,” the organisations said. One of the vultures that was found had been tagged and was nearing breeding age and had been seen in numerous places around the country, and had returned to the area with probably an intent to breed within the next few years, the statement said.