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Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:16 am

Thanks for the great pics & narrative Joh. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:41 am

Fantastic write-up and photos, Johan. :D
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby hilda » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:08 am

Thank you for sharing this awesome experience with us Johan! Stunning pictures of these beautiful Vultures! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:04 am

PNF wrote: It is sad that this vulture may become extinct within this century.........hopefully the people from KZN who are tracking some of them by satellite will come up with an answer that will save this bird.


PNF, conservation is a complex issue. I wish it was as simple as speaking a magic word, but alas... the footprint of modern man cannot be wiped away that easily! The people you refer to (in partnership with many others) are trying their utmost to turn the fortunes of the bearded vulture around.

The South Africa Ministry of Environmental Affairs has structures in place for Management Plans for endangered species. The intention to put in place such a management plan has been published for the Bearded Vulture in the Government Gazette for comment by the public. The deadline for comment is 25 August 2013.

The BMP makes interesting reading and astounded me with the extent of research that is still required for the implementation team to understand the numerous threats, causes of mortality, survival rates and breeding successes/failures. The operational goals of the BMP management team focus hugely on data gathering, increasing awareness, growing their communications network and raising funds. Reading through the BMP brought home to me what an enormous undertaking such a BMP is.

Data gathering strategies include satellite tracking of an increased number of birds, tagging of as much as 10% of the total population and implementing a re-sighting program, monitoring of nest sites and conducting bird counts at feeding sites and along specific road routes. Genetic comparison with the bearded vultures in East Africa is required to determine if reintroduction from that population is a conservation option. I can only hope that the situation never deteriorates to the extent where that option becomes a solution.

All of these objectives and actions have no direct and immediate impact on the well-being of the bearded vulture population. The only such intervention published in the BMP is the goal to improve the amount and quality of food available to the vultures and even that set of actions has an extensive time component preventing immediate value. For the population size to stop declining, the combined benefit of 108 listed actions must come in effect.

The BMP implementation will be assessed annually and reviewed every five years.

At least the ball is rolling...
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:48 am

Sad start to this week for all concerned with the news breaking that yet another bearded vulture has fallen prey to poison. The badly decomposed carcass of Lefuma, an adult male that was fitted with a transmitter in 2012, was recovered after the monitoring team were alerted by his signal that had become fixed in one spot.
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby hilda » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:08 pm

Oh no! This is really very sad news Johan! :cry:
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby anne-marie » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:20 pm

oups... very, very bad news :cry:
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:03 pm

The lab results of tests performed on the carcass of Lefuma indicate the presence of the pesticide Terbufos, normally used to control crop pests in soil. It was illegally used to lace a goat carcass, probably to kill off jackal.

Since the start of the monitoring project in 2006, 25 bearded vultures were fitted with satellite transmitters. 10 of these tracking efforts have come to a gruesome end; nine poisoned and one colliding with power lines. This shocking statistic shows why the bearded vulture is in such dire straits: nearly half of a randomly selected batch dying unnaturally.

It is estimated that there are only 350 individual birds left in Southern Africa, all of them confined to the Maloti-Drakenberg.
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:31 pm

A cable car project proposed for the 'berg will have impacts on our already stressed vulture populations. See the discussion on SABC2 tonight at 19:30
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby hilda » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:09 pm

Thank you Johan! We will watch the programme! :thumbs_up:
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby anne-marie » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:20 pm

oups a cable car :shock: :doh:
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:38 am

Economic Development and Tourism MEC, Mike Mabuyakhulu was adamant last night on SABS2’s 50/50 that the province’s plans for a 7-km long cable car in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg were well advanced and that the project would take the local tourism industry to new heights. Describing the proposed cable car as “a game changer”, I got the impression that the MEC didn’t see any stumbling blocks in the way of the project.

A pre-feasibility study conducted 12 years ago had indicated that benefits of a cable car would include 1 200 jobs and increased opportunities for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. The mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment is not expected to throw up any insurmountable issues, the MEC said.

From the interviews held with various stakeholders it was obvious that those from the Central Drakensberg region were very disappointed that the project is currently earmarked for the northern section of the Amphitheatre, falling just outside of the area that comprises the World Heritage Site.

I get the feeling that nothing short of a miracle will stop this project, in spite of all the red flags popping up: Expensive; long payback period; massive changes to the infrastructure required to accommodate the envisaged 300 000 tourists per year; any environmental impact will affect our stressed vultures.

Give the Greedy Ape easy access and it will turn the uKhahlamba Drakensberg into a barren rubbish dump with a glorious view…
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Re: Vulture: Lammergeier (Bearded)

Unread postby hilda » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:39 am

Johan van Rensburg wrote:Give the Greedy Ape easy access and it will turn the uKhahlamba Drakensberg into a barren rubbish dump with a glorious view…


I couldn't agree more! :(
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