One of our Vulture Conservation Programme’s goals is to continually improve the understanding of the fine-scale movement patterns of the various Vulture species breeding in KwaZulu-Natal.
This is achieved by deploying light-weight solar-powered GPS units to both adult and fledgling individuals. The data are used to identify trends based on the individual movements thereby enabling the effective protection of these endangered, yet vitally important scavengers.
This data, combined with the wing tag and leg ring re-sightings allows us to build on the existing understanding and knowledge of the threats they face and the areas they utilise the most. This in turn is used to analyse population trends, habitat use and survival rates which all inform conservation management and helps prioritise focused conservation action.
During 2022, together with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, as members of the Zululand Vulture Project, the Wildlife ACT team has deployed a total of 7 GPS units to vultures as part of this ongoing study.
Breeding birds were targeted in the northern breeding cluster in KwaZulu-Natal, where a rapid drop in nesting pairs have been recorded over the past 3 years, with the deployment of 5 GPS units on adult White-backed Vultures, whilst an additional two sub-adults were fitted with leg rings and wing tags.
The team also deployed 2 GPS units to Lappet-faced Vulture fledglings in their nests, the only known nests for this species in the province for the 2022 breeding season. All our GPS units are monitored continuously which also allows the Emergency Response Team to respond swiftly in the event that a vulture seems to be in distress.
How you can help:
Donate to the Cause: https://www.givengain.com/c/wildlife/
Contact us to sponsor a GPS unit (including 2 years of satellite data and field deployment costs) at R50 000: firstname.lastname@example.org
Report a tagged vulture HERE.
Partners: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Happy Hollow Foundation, Ford Wildlife Foundation, Wild Tomorrow Fund, Wildlife ACT Innovations, Rhino Peak Challenge, Project Vulture, White Elephant Safaris, Pongola Game Reserve