Rescue, rehabilitation, release and population monitoring of the endangered Cape Vulture
The Cape vulture (Gyps coprotheres) is listed as ‘Endangered’ by the UICN and is in Appendix 1 of the CITES. South Africa is the last stronghold for this endemic species as less than 5,000 breeding pairs remain. These birds are really important because they prevent the spread of diseases to people and livestock by carcass removal. They are threatened by habitat degradation as well as pollution exposure to toxic food sources, poisoning due to human-wildlife conflicts, poaching for use in traditional medicine and outdated dangerous electrical infrastructures.
The main objective of this project is to stabilize the Cape Vulture population through rescue and rehabilitation of every injured grounded individual reported with as many releases as possible of birds which can be returned to the wild depending on the nature of their injuries. Furthermore, the VulPro team aims to monitor breeding colonies and track population trends.
To do so, VulPro will recue every compromised vulture reported across South Africa. The rehabilitation will be done by a qualified para-veterinarian with support from local veterinarians. VulPro will continue to monitor the population of Cape Vulture in the northern part of South Africa to measure breeding success and population trends three times a year through the use of spotting scopes and standardized protocols of cliff-nesting surveys.