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Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Rusty Justy
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Wed Jul 01, 2009 1:33 pm

Thnaks for the update JvR.........Finding this very sad, as well as interesting!
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:19 pm

Lenong, the ill-fated bearded vulture that was found dead on a farm between Elliott and Barkley East, was poisoned with a lethal carbamate pesticide. Toxicology tests undertaken at Onderstepoort this week have conclusively revealed the cause of death.

“Bearded vultures are scavengers and their diet consists mainly of bone,” explained KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife biologist Sonja Krüger. “Since they do not feed on crops or insects, we can only assume that the bird fed on a carcass or piece of meat bait purposefully laced.”

Carbamate pesticides are known to be highly toxic to birds. In its granular form, a single grain will kill a bird. It is often used intentionally to poison “problem” wildlife. The bearded vulture may not have been the target but certainly became the victim! Vultures are very efficient scavengers and often fall victim to poisoned carcasses intended for potential stock killers.

Thanks to the transmitter signals, researchers were able to find Lenong’s carcass quite easily on the side of a mountain.

The satellite tracking devices take a GPS position of the bird’s location every three hours which is then available for researchers to download from a website. Their movements and home ranges have slowly expanded out of Lesotho until recently both birds have spent the last few weeks in the northern part of the Eastern Cape. Apart from obtaining more information on the movement patterns of these young birds, the project aims to discover what threatens this species and what the mortality factors are.

With fewer than a hundred breeding pairs remaining in the wild in southern Africa, the loss of even one bearded vulture is extremely serious. Based on its small and declining population size and restricted range the bird is already listed as endangered in southern Africa.
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:10 pm

More Sad news :(
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Jul 06, 2009 3:07 pm

Tanya Smith took this photograph of Lenong ... as she was found against the side of the mountain. The tracking device can clearly be seen on the vulture's back.

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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:09 pm

Thanks for sharing JvR........The image really hits one a lot harder then hearing about it......Sad to see a bird like this, all due to human greed!
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Imax » Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:23 am

Thanks JVR for the update!

And good to see you pop in every once in a while!

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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Cherries » Tue Jul 07, 2009 9:27 pm

Thank you Johan.

Extremely heartbreaking photo and update.
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby JenB » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:07 pm

Thanx for the sad info JvR, I cannot even find the words to reply here. :cry: :cry: :cry:
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby o-dog » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:24 pm

JvR - Thanx for this amazing info...if it were not for people like yourself this bird would probably be no longer in Southern Africa.

Not sure if you mentioned this but did you know and anyone else hear about Lammergeier being resident on Table Mountain in the past!?
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Donny » Sun Jul 26, 2009 2:17 pm

A truly magnificent bird !!

Hopefully with people like JVR and more importantly the support of private landowners & the public in general the fate of this iconic marvel can be secured.

Really sad to hear the news of Lenong :(
Need to get there soon !!!

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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby darth bangkok » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:39 am

Johan van Rensburg wrote:Defender Ou, on enquiring about your sighting I received the following communication from Sonja Krueger, the top BV expert in the country: "Marakele is VERY far out the range of the bearded vulture so it was most likely a misidentification. They only occur in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains although their range was much larger in the past - but not quite as far as the Waterberg."

Have a good cameraman with you next time! :wink:


Hi!

Just a question about this finding (not trying to be rude or anything, just want to learn). If the bearded vulture migrates from Europe to South Africa each year, why is it out of the realm of possibility that it could be in a different part of SA than typically observed? The bird could be lost/hit bad weather/ on its way to the usual ground/ even looking for a new site, no? Or am I was off base?

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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Johann » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:51 am

Welcome DB,
They don't migrate between Europe and SA. We have got a resident/local population in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains that tends to stick to that area :wink:
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby darth bangkok » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:14 pm

Ah ok, well that explains it :wink:

I misunderstood, I thought they were migrating from Spain to SA.

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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:58 pm

Table Mountain - in CT that is, is not part of their back yard either.
Jackal buzzards and Verreaux's eagles rule here.
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Aug 03, 2009 6:56 am

Sorry that it took this long to post a reply regarding the not-so-urban-legend that beardies previously featured on Table mountain... There are nesting records at UCT of bearded vultures on Table mountain... but from way back in the 1930s.

Seventy-odd years ago their range was much wider than today. In South Africa bearded vultures are currently only found in the remotest parts of the Drakensberg mountains.
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