Deliberate poisoning of African vultures threatens several species

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JOHANNESBURG, March 7 – The recent mass poisoning of vultures in Mozambique is threatening several species with extinction.

The Vultures Conservation Fund (VCF) reported that 87 vultures were poisoned in Mozambique and their remains were found near that of a poisoned lion in the south of the country.

This carnage followed the poisoning of six lions in Tanzania several weeks ago, barely a day after the United Nations marked World Wildlife Day on February 3.

“These successive and frequent events are driving several species of African vultures to extinction, and vindicate what the Vulture Multi-species Action Plan (Vulture MsAP) – a global strategic blueprint identifying priorities and actions to conserve 15 species of old world vultures – approved recently in the conference of the parties of the Convention for Migratory Species stated.

Vulture MsAP confirmed that poisoned baits, often used against the predators of livestock, are the main threat to vultures worldwide.

The VCF is particularly active in fighting this threat and is implementing several projects across Europe including many actions against poisoning.

“We are also in contact with some African colleagues fighting this threat, but the news coming from that continent is even bleaker than from Europe – seems that the African vulture crisis is continuing,” said VCF.

In the last 30 years, some African species have declined by 80 percent, and four species of African vulture are now considered Critically Endangered, while three other species are listed as Endangered.

– African News Agency (ANA)