47 White-backed vultures poisoned in Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
47 White-backed vultures poisoned in Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife

In a statement given by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and their partner, Wildlife ACT was stated that 47 White-backed vultures and five Tawny Eagles were found dead.

They stated that altogether 47 carcasses were found and 35 of them had their head removed. Five were still alive and were rushed to the rehabilitation facility for further treatment.

They said a criminal case has been instituted with the South African Police Service.

“The swift response by conservation officials, who have been trained to handle such poisoning events, decontaminated the scene to ensure that no further fatalities occurred.”

Brent Coverdale, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife`s Mammal and Bird Scientist, said the demand for vultures in traditional medicine trades is a high factor cause of vulture poisoning in South Africa, and this is highlighted in the draft Management Plan for South African Vultures.

Earlier this month, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment released the Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for South African Vultures for public comment.

“Wildlife ACT was extremely saddened by the discovery of this recent mass vulture poisoning. Vultures are a vital component of our ecosystem’s functionality, yet we have seen a drastic decline in the local breeding population over the past few years due to poisoning, despite our best efforts.

“We urge the public to engage with the BMP commenting process before the deadline,” said Anel Olivier, Wildlife ACT’s Vulture Conservation Programme Manager.

The draft BMP can be accessed here

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