Vulture conservation gets a vital boost
One of the latest conservation projects to get support from Paradise Park in Cornwall, UK is the International Vulture Programme , run by the Hawk Conservancy Trust in Hampshire, which focuses efforts on the research and conservation of seven vulture species.
Poisoning is the biggest threat to vultures in Africa.
Paradise Park Curator David Woolcock explains “Poisoning associated with ivory poaching accounts for one third of all vulture poisonings since 1970 and is now the biggest cause of vulture mortality. Poisoning often relates directly to the illegal trade in wildlife, either through the trade in vultures and vulture parts, or deliberate killing of vultures to disguise illegal poaching. Ivory poachers poison and kill vultures because their presence above a poached carcass can attract the attention of law enfor cement agents.”
LEFT: A Poison Response Kit RIGHT: David Woolcock and Tangee the Palm-nut Vulture at Paradise Park helping to raise awareness and funds.
David continues “With the fantastic support of Paradise Park visitors and the donations they have made at our daily summer flying displays over the last few years, we have been able to donate £4940 to the ‘Poison Response Action’ project which is a collaboration between The Hawk Conservancy Trust, Endangered Wildlife Trust and Reading University.
This has made an immediate difference, paying for training courses for field staff (trainers, travel, catering) and Poison Response Kits (PRKs) in a high risk area of Zambia.The kits and training provide field staff from national parks, NGOs and law enforcement agencies with the skills and equipment required to effectively take action and prevent further loss of life.”
This brings the total donated to the International Vulture Programme from 2008 – 2018 £17,600.
Campbell Murn, Head of Conservation and Research at the Hawk Conservancy Trust said “The effects of poisoning incidents on wildlife are catastrophic. Just one incident can wipe out hundreds of animals, including lions, jackals, hyenas and hundreds of vultures. More than 2500 vultures have been killed in this manner in southern Africa since 2011. Research by the Hawk Conservancy Trust has shown that this level of impact will lead to vulture populations becoming extinct within decades. The Poison Response Kits contain a range of equipment and first aid materials and are designed to reduce the impacts of poisoned carcasses on wildlife. Often, poisons are so toxic that vultures can die with food still in their mouths. This means that work must take place as soon as possible to prevent further deaths. With a quick response and the effective use of Poison Response Kits, hundreds of animals can be saved from death by poisoning.”
TOP LEFT Vultures poisoned by poachers piled together for incineration in Mbashene, Mozambique 25.2.2018 by Andre Botha
MIDDLE Poison Response Kit being administered. Photo: Andre Botha
BOTTOM Poisoning Intervention – Scene Investigation Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique 1.7.2016.
WATCH VIDEOS regarding the ‘Poison Response Action Campaign’
Featuring Campbell Murn, Head of Conservation and Research at the Hawk Conservancy Trust
The Poison Response Action project is a collaboration between
Hawk Conservancy Trust
Endangered Wildlife Trust