Captive-reared vultures freed in Nepal


This video says about itself:

Vulture Release Nepal, Krishna Bhusal. On the 9th of November this year Bird Conservation Nepal, working as part of the SAVE (Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction) consortium, released six captive-reared white-rumped vultures

they can be recognised by the yellow plastic tags on their wings

into the wild, in a conservation first for South Asia.

Read more here.

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Vulture recovery in Nepal?


This 2912 video is called Vulture Study Video of Arghakhanchi, Nepal. By Krishna Prasad Bhusal and Hemanta Dhakal.

From BirdLife:

8 Nov 2017

Captive-reared Critically Endangered vultures soon to be released in Nepal

Conservationists are making great progress in removing vulture-killing drug diclofenac from Nepal, with vulture populations stabilising as a result. Now, in this safer environment, it’s almost time for six captive-reared White-rumped Vultures to venture out into the wild.

By Shaun Hurrell

South Asian vultures have famously suffered devastating population declines in recent decades. For example, 99.9% of White-rumped Vultures Gyps bengalensis were wiped out between 1992 and 2007. This was due to the use of diclofenac: an anti-inflammatory drug given to reduce pain in livestock, but deadly to vultures that subsequently feed on their carcasses. A ban on veterinary diclofenac in India, Nepal and Pakistan in 2006 and Bangladesh in 2010 has allowed vulture populations to stabilise and possibly start to recover in some areas.

However, five of South Asia’s nine vulture species remain Endangered or Critically Endangered; the misuse of human diclofenac to treat livestock, as well as the use of other vulture-toxic veterinary drugs, continues to threaten some South Asian vulture populations with extinction. BirdLife Partners are changing that, through a combination of advocacy, legislation and education.

Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN, BirdLife Partner), with the support of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, BirdLife in the UK), have been working hard to rid Nepal of diclofenac. “We started by going around shops in Nawalparasi district, buying pharmacists out of large bottles of diclofenac, whilst offering the safe alternative (meloxicam) and raising awareness of the vulture declines”, said Krishna Bhusal, Vulture Conservation Programme Manager, BCN. “Now this district is completely diclofenac-free.”

District by district, from pharmacists’ distributors to farmer’s son, the campaign is on-going, but nearly complete. The aim: a huge multi-district Vulture Safe Zone.

Meanwhile, White-rumped Vultures have been kept in captivity as an insurance population since 2008. Now, with a safer landscape to roam in, BCN and RSPB are gearing up for the first ever release of captive vultures in South Asia.

Six captive-reared vultures fitted with satellite transmitters are currently exercising their wings in a pre-release aviary near Chitwan National Park, socialising through the wire with wild vultures that are fed at one of the programme’s Vulture Safe Feeding Sites. Later this year, the door will be left open in what will be a huge milestone for the species’ recovery in Nepal.

Saving African-Eurasian vultures


This video says about itself:

Vultures – Photographing the Antiheroes of Our Ecosystems | Exposure

12 January 2016

Photographer Charlie Hamilton James describes the emotional experience of photographing vultures for National Geographic—from placing a camera inside a carcass to get a bird’s-eye view of a feeding frenzy to discovering vulture parts for sale in illegal markets.

From BirdLife:

12 Oct 2017

One big plan to save African-Eurasian vultures by 2029

International commitment is needed now from over 120 countries to ensure the recovery of 15 vulture species

By Shaun Hurrell

African-Eurasian Vultures are the most threatened group of terrestrial migratory birds on the planet. Many have extensive soaring migrations (and a Rüppell’s Vulture Gyps rueppelli was recorded as the world’s highest-flying bird when it collided with an airliner), and their massive ranges mean that their safety can only be guaranteed if many countries come together and agree on a plan for their protection. This is where BirdLife International’s work comes in, supported by Partners around the world, with the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) providing a key platform.

It’s a huge problem and a huge area, so we have made an appropriate plan: namely, the Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP), developed by BirdLife, the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Vulture Specialist Group and Vulture Conservation Foundation, under the guidance of the CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MOU), with input from numerous individual experts on vultures and their conservation.

“We as conservation organisations recognise the importance of vultures and are doing all we can to save them, but this colossal task needs action on an unprecedented scale through the support of governments as well as the private sector and many others”, says Roger Safford, Senior Programme Manager, Preventing Extinctions, BirdLife International. The comprehensive action plan sets out actions, and links to practical guidance, for governments of the 128 countries in Africa and Eurasia that have vultures (Vulture Range States), and other stakeholders, on preventing poisoning, avoiding electrocution and collisions with energy infrastructure, tackling persecution and illegal trade, restoring habitat, and ensuring natural food supplies.

“The Vulture MsAP aims for the recovery of 15 Old World vulture species to favourable population levels by 2029”, says Safford. This plan literally has the ultimate deadline: 2029 must be a year of celebration of vulture recovery, not grieving of the imminent extinction of many species. The consequences if not are unbearable.

BirdLife thus urges the 126 Parties of CMS to adopt the Vulture MsAP, and to add 10 species of African and Asian Vultures to CMS Appendix I, giving them the highest level of protection. And it must happen immediately: on 23-28 October in Manila, Philippines, at the 12th Conference of Parties (COP12) of the CMS.

The challenge is then for the Vulture Range States and others to put in place all the resources, legislation and conservation measures, including via national action plans, necessary to avoid a vulture and human-health catastrophe. With this machinery in place, international vulture conservation would be shifted into a higher gear.

Young California condor almost fledging


This video from California in the USA says about itself:

25 September 2017

At nearly six months after hatching, this California Condor chick (#871) is primed to fledge at any point within the next 30–40 days. Watch the 20-pound nestling show off her impressive wingspan as she clumsily rambles around the Devil’s Gate nest in Southern California.

Who says Mondays aren’t any fun! Watch California Condor chick #871 burn off some energy while jumping around and flapping her wings in front of the camera. She gives us a great look at her blackish-gray colored head and down covered neck. #871 won’t be resembling her parents any time soon; it takes five years for a condor to fully obtain the reddish orange head coloration of an adult!

Watch Live 24/7, with highlights and news updates, here.

The California Condor cam is a collaboration between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

California condor chick fed by father


This video from the USA says about itself:

Dad Returns To Feed Chick, 9/20/2017, Devil’s Gate Condor Nest

Watch live 24/7, with highlights and news updates, at http://allaboutbirds.org/condors.

The California Condor cam is a collaboration between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Santa Barbara Zoo, the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Thanks for watching!

This condor nest, known as the Devil’s Gate nest, is located in the Los Padres National Forest, near Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge. The parents of the chick in the Devil’s Gate nest are mom #513 and dad #206. Dad #206 hatched at the Los Angeles Zoo in 1999 and mom #513 hatched at the World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise Idaho in 2009. This is their third nesting attempt together but they have yet to successfully fledge a chick.

Vultures in Zambia news


This video is about vultures and hyenas at a buffalo kill in Zambia in 2014.

From BirdLife:

12 Sep 2017

BirdWatch Zambia collects data about vulture movements

By Chaona Phiri

In July 2016, BirdWatch Zambia (BirdLife Partner in Zambia) embarked on a project to establish safe feeding and roosting areas for vultures – known as Vulture Safe Zones. This was accomplished through partnership and dialogue with farm owners to influence farm management practices, to protect and allow vultures to thrive in these farmland areas.

With funding from BirdLife International, BirdWatch Zambia (BWZ) was able to conduct population surveys covering 73000 hectares and 475km of transects within and around Chisamba, an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). The surveys that were first conducted in December 2016 and repeated in June 2017, recorded well over 1300 vultures, specifically 3 species; the White-backed Vulture, Hooded Vulture and Lappet-faced Vulture.

To date, approximately 35000 hectares of private farmland is a safe feeding area for vultures through influencing farm management practices in and around Chisamba IBA. Furthermore, additional funding has been secured from the Isdell Family Foundation targeting 20000 hectares between Chisamba and Kafue Flats IBAs (Blue Lagoon and Lochinvar national parks) so that a safe feeding corridor is created from the protected area where these birds are most likely breeding.

From 10–16 August 2017, BWZ conducted ground nest surveys on the Kafue Flats IBA, a wetland surrounded by seasonally flooded savanna woodlands and flat-topped Acacia species. An average nest density of 7nests/km² in a survey of 9000km² was recorded. Results showed that the nesting habitat was not continuous but fragmented with the largest fragment covering about 2500km². At least 50 active vulture nests (49 White-backed vulture and 1 Lappet-faced vulture) were found. The Kafue flats which is about 85km away from the Chisamba vulture safe zone appears to be a key site for breeding vultures. BWZ hopes to secure funding for aerial surveys in the future to compliment the information gathered from ground surveys.

In addition to conducting ground surveys, Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) and satellite tracking units were put on one Hooded Vulture and 2 White-backed Vultures in Chisamba. Wing tags were also put on these birds to track their movement.