Save Europe’s vultures and eagles


This video says about itself:

11 February 2013

This video tells the story of a poisoned Bonelli’s Eagle that was rehabilitated in North Cyprus by a group of local conservationists who have been tracking the status of the species in their country.

From BirdLife:

By Luca Bonaccorsi, Thu, 25/09/2014 – 14:59

After months of wrestling, the European Commission has given mandate to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to assess the risks to vulture populations of the use of veterinary medicines containing diclofenac. This represents a major breakthrough and opens the door for the European ban of the killer drug that wiped out entire vulture populations in Asia. BirdLife International and the Vulture Conservation Foundation appeal to all parties involved to submit scientific evidence to the EMA by 10 October 2014.

Diclofenac is a veterinary anti-inflammatory drug that kills vultures and eagles – in India it caused a 99% decline of a number of vulture species there, before eventually being banned in four countries in the region. Quite incredibly, veterinary diclofenac has now been allowed to be used on farm animals in Europe – in Estonia, Italy and Spain for cattle, pigs and horses, and in the Czech Republic and Latvia for horses only. The drug has been marketed by an Italian company named FATRO, and was allowed using loopholes in the EU guidelines to assess risk of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs.

The European Medicines Agency has now opened a public consultation on the matter, directed at all professional bodies with information about scavenging birds, veterinary practices and the disposal of animal by-products. With this decision, the European Commission acknowledges the facts raised by BirdLife International and the Vulture Conservation Foundation, who are leading an international campaign to ban veterinary diclofenac in Europe.

José Tavares, Executive Director of the VCF states: “It is impossible to leave this drug out there, and it’s the time for the EU to acknowledge the reality on the ground in countries like Italy and Spain. Even if there was a strict veterinary prescription system – and this is not the case – it would still be impossible for the veterinary managing the drug to oversee the disposal of all the dead animals. In Spain when pigs, lambs and goats die in open fields they are often reached by vultures even before farmers are aware of it.”

Iván Ramírez, Head of Conservation for Europe and Central Asia at BirdLife International says: “We welcome the decision, and thank our BirdLife Partners and supporters. Our vulture experts are working on our reply to EMA, but it is crucial that we take any single opportunity to call for the immediate ban of this product. There are safe alternatives and we have already seen how dangerous veterinary diclofenac is for vultures. We won’t stop until a European ban is implemented”.

This video is called Stop Vulture Poisoning Now.

Stop vulture poisoning


This video says about itself:

Stop Vulture Poisoning Now

12 September 2014

A drug which has poisoned 99% of all vultures in India, Pakistan and Nepal almost overnight, is now spreading rapidly across Europe. This introduction is compounding many other threats to now make vultures one of the most highly-threatened bird families on the planet.

With a united Partnership of 70 conservation organisations across Europe and Africa, BirdLife has the network, knowledge and know-how to save vultures.

They know that simple and effective solutions exist, and urgently need £20,000 to identify, and tackle the threats to these most beautiful and important of birds. Please support BirdLife’s work to stop vulture poisoning now.

Your generous donation will first be used to fight for a ban of veterinary diclofenac across Europe and tackle other threats in Africa. This action alone could save thousands of vultures.

Your money will also enable an expert team of BirdLife scientists to undertake an urgent review of all vulture species. This study will provide vital information enabling thousands of conservationists around the globe to take action. It will empower them to act, and gain greater support for their herculean efforts.

Tackling widespread threats to entire families of birds like this are very difficult, but BirdLife’s experience shows coordinated action can be highly successful. As a result of their experience and expertise with Asian vultures, BirdLife has a small but important head-start in Africa and Europe.

Your support is vital to this work, and will make a real difference to its success. Please, dig deep, donate now and help us keep vultures flying as high as they should be.

Thank you

www.birdlife.org

Music: Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Vulture video footage: Carles Carboneras
Thanks to interviewees: Dr Mark Anderson, Iván Ramírez, Stephen Awoyemi.
Thanks to Margaret Atwood, David Lindo, Simon King, Chris Packham for their support to the campaign.
Photo credits to follow

This video is called Ban diclofenac to save Vultures!

North and South African vultures


This video from South Africa is called Lappet-faced, White-backed and White-headed Vultures.

From North African Birds blog today:

Eight vulture species live or have lived in the three Maghreb countries (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia), here is their complete list sorted according to their taxonomic positions. Of these eight species, 3 still breed in the region (Bearded Vulture, Egyptian Vulture and Griffon Vulture), 2 are former breeders and now extinct from the region (Cinereous Vulture and Lappet-faced Vulture), and finally 3 are accidental visitors from sub-Saharan Africa (Hooded Vulture, White-backed Vulture and Rüppell’s Vulture).

The total number of species in the list of each country: 6 species for Algeria, 8 species for Morocco and 4 species for Tunisia.

The species that still breed in each country are as follow: Algeria (Egyptian Vulture & Griffon Vulture), Morocco (Bearded Vulture & Egyptian Vulture) and Tunisia (Egyptian Vulture).

International Vulture Awareness Day, 6 September


This video says about itself:

International Vulture Awareness Day, 2011, Kenya

Kenya celebrates the International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) by showing the diversity of species, illustrating their critical role in the environment and focusing on their main cause for their widespread decline, poisoning with pesticides.

Dr Richard Leakey makes a personal statement regarding his own experience in witnessing the decline of vultures and highlights the need for governments to tackle poisoning issues seriously, otherwise the future of vultures is certain. IVAD is a global event with awareness campaigns in the Americas, throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and the far East. Vultures have declined as much as 95% over South Asia and India because of the side-effect of diclophenac, a pharmaceutical drug meant to relieve pain in livestock.

Wind turbines and electricity lines are proving to be another serious hazard for vultures all over the world. Habitat removal and disturbance also play major roles in their declines. Vultures are one of the most beneficial animals due to their “clean-up” work and removing carcasses that would otherwise rot and encourage disease. In Kenya vultures play a vital role in not only wildlife health but in the pastoral livestock rearing lands and in community public health. Join us in celebrating the vulture!

Saturday 6 September is not only World Shorebirds Day. It is also International Vulture Awareness Day.

From North African Birds blog today:

Looking at the International Vulture Awareness Day website, we can see that two regional organisations are celebrating the event this weekend (open the link and search, Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia and see for yourself):

- The Association “Les Amis des Oiseaux” (AAO) – BirdLife in Tunisia, and

- GREPOM BirdLife Morocco

The country with more vultures than the others, Algeria, is not participating (so far).

Vultures in Africa and Europe could face extinction within our lifetime warn conservationists: here.

Vulture-killing drug kills eagles as well


This video says about itself:

Vanishing Vultures

31 May 2011

The Indian sub-continent had the highest density of vultures in the world – 85 million in total. However, over the past few years 99% have disappeared – mostly due to the use of the veterinary drug Diclofenac.

The loss of such an important scavenger has had devastating effects – putrefying decomposing carcasses are thought to be the cause of anthrax and rabies outbreaks. The extinction of this species would have global health consequences.

From BirdLife:

New study shows vulture-killing drug kills eagles too

By Martin Fowlie, Wed, 28/05/2014 – 11:45

The results of tests carried out on two Steppe Eagles Aquila nipalensis found dead in Rajasthan, India, have shown some worrying results.

Both birds had diclofenac residue in their tissues and exhibited the same clinical signs of kidney failure as seen in vultures.

Scientists now fear that all species in this genus, known as Aquila (which includes Golden A. chrysaetos and Spanish Imperial Eagle A. adalberti), are susceptible to diclofenac. With fourteen species of Aquila Eagle distributed across Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe and North America, this means that diclofenac poisoning should now be considered largely a global problem.

Dr Toby Galligan, RSPB conservation scientist and one of the authors of the paper published in BirdLife’s journal Bird Conservation International, said: “In light of recent developments in Europe, our findings take on an even more worrying meaning. All Aquila eagles, like the Spanish Imperial Eagle, are opportunistic scavengers and therefore could be at risk of diclofenac poisoning. As we have seen in South Asia, wherever free-ranging livestock is treated with diclofenac, population declines in vultures and eagles can occur. The European Commission needs to recognise this problem and impose a continent-wide ban on veterinary diclofenac before it can impact on our birds.”

Worryingly, it was announced in March that the drug had been authorised for manufacture and use in Italy and Spain and had been distributed to other European countries. Since then, a coalition of organisations including the Vulture Conservation Foundation, the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and BirdLife have been campaigning for this decision to be reversed.

Ivan Ramirez, Head of European Conservation at BirdLife stated, “The findings strengthen the case for banning veterinary diclofenac across Europe and for the enforcement of bans in South Asia to stop the illegal misuse of human diclofenac to treat livestock.”

Find out more about our campaign to ban diclofenac in Europe

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Moroccan bird news


This video is about Rüppell’s Vultures (Gyps rueppellii).

From Moroccan Birds blog:

Saturday, May 24, 2014

3 Rüppell’s Vultures at Tétouan (24-05-2014)

Live from the field at Tetouan, northern Morocco

Now: we are surrounded by 3 Rüppell’s Vultures and 32 Griffon Vultures roosting near Tetouan (just 5 Km north of the town). A local Black-winged Kite (Elanus caeruleus) mobbing the vultures.

Details later. Rachid & Mohamed

The importance of Fouwarate marshland (Northwest of Morocco) for wintering and breeding of Ardeidae.

Abstract:

Due to its location within the East-Atlantic flyway, the Site of Biological and Ecological Interest commonly known as SIBE of Marshland of Fouwarate is considered as a key stopover area for migratory waterbirds. An ornithological monitoring carried out during a complete hydrological cycle (2009-2010) showed that the site encompasses eight Ardeidae species of which five are breeding. Four species have an unfavorable status in the territory of European Union and five species have patrimonial value in Morocco. In addition, the wintering numbers of two species exceed the threshold of 1% of the regional population (Ramsar criteria) while six species exceed the threshold of 1% of the national population. This attributes to this site a great national and international importance for the conservation for the conservation of threatened waterbirds, not to mention the role it can play in promoting environmental education and ecotourism in the region. However, the wetland is under high pressures due to different human activities (embankment, agriculture and industry), which requires urgent actions to protect and conserve its ecological values: here.

Study of the migratory waders phenology in the lagoon and salines of Sidi Moussa (Morocco).

Abstract:

Monthly counts of waders were conducted from March 2010 to February 2012 in Sidi Moussa lagoon and adjacent salines. In total 24 species were identified, including three regular breeding species in the site (Glareola pratincola, Charadrius alexandrinus and Himantopus himantopus). The most abundant species are Calidris alpina, Charadrius hiaticula, Charadrius alexandrinus, Pluvialis squatarola, Himantopus himantopus and Tringa totanus. The analysis of migration patterns of the species did not show significant variations between years in contrast to the trends in total numbers of waders that showed marked variations between the different seasons of the annual cycle of the species. The highest numbers are recorded during the autumn passage. Numbers will subsequently decrease and stabilize during the wintering season. Prenuptial movements are not well detected. A slight increase in numbers was noticed in February marking the beginning of the return passage. Some species can leave on the site small flocks of summering individuals. This is the case of Dunlin which shows a strong correlation with the total numbers and the Redshank with an early summering (May). Both breeding species, Black-winged Stilt and the Kentish Plover evolve differently in the site. When no seasonal variation was noted for the first species, migration passages are well marked for the second and numbers stabilize during the wintering and summering. The Grey Plover numbers noted during the summer show significant differences with those recorded during other seasons of the annual cycle, marked by certain stability. For Ringed Plover, numbers recorded in summer showed significant differences only with those of the autumn passage: here.

Save vultures from killer veterinary ‘medicine’


This video says about itself:

Ban Veterinary Diclofenac Now!

from BirdLife Europe

Monday, April 28, 2014 8:20 AM

This video shows different vulture species in the way that they should be portrayed; as vital, majestic birds who keep the balance in our delicate ecological cycle. It also presents and explains the risks associated with the use of veterinary diclofenac to vultures.

BirdLife writes about this:

Diclofenac: a Vulture killer – watch this new video

By Elodie Cantaloube, Tue, 29/04/2014 – 08:25

Diclofenac is an anti-inflammatory drug whose veterinary use has been the main cause of the catastrophic 99% decline of several species of vultures in South Asia. Despite this tragic experience and while alternative safe drugs exist, it has now been confirmed that the vulture-killer drug is commercially available for veterinary purposes in at least two EU countries; Italy and Spain.

This new video commissioned by BirdLife and the Vulture Conservation Foundation and produced by Ran Levy-Yamamori presents the case, linking the threat in Europe with the Asian catastrophe, and appeals for urgent action. It also shows vulture species in the way that they should be portrayed; as vital, majestic birds who keep the balance in our delicate ecological cycle.

BirdLife, its Partners in Italy (LIPU) and Spain (SEO/BirdLife) and the Vulture Conservation Foundation have recently launched a campaign calling on the EU to ban veterinary diclofenac. Support our call now!

For more information, visit our website or contact Elodie Cantaloube, Media and Communications Officer at Birdlife Europe.

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