California condor, from egg to fledging


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA writes about this video:

Surviving Devils Gate: 2017 California Condor Cam Highlights

5 February 2018

Peer into the lives of one of the worlds most majestic endangered species on the California Condor cam, and relive the events of a harrowing breeding season from the rocky ridges of the Devils Gate nest.

Watch condor chick #871 grow out of her natal down, survive sweeping wildfires, and become the first ever successful fledgling on the California Condor cam.

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Endangered vultures discovered in Cambodia


This video says about itself:

Red-headed vulture, female

Siem Pang wildlife sanctuary, Cambodia, 4 February 2017

From the Wildlife Conservation Society:

Three critically endangered red-headed vulture nests discovered in Cambodia’s Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary

January 29, 2018

Three nests of the Critically Endangered Red-headed vulture were found in January in Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary by conservationists from the Ministry of Environment (MoE), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and local communities. The population of this species in Cambodia is possibly less than 50 individuals. These nest discoveries give hope that conservation efforts may save this species from extinction.

Global vulture populations are declining at an alarming rate. Cambodia’s three vulture species — Red-headed (Sarcogyps calvus), Slender-billed (Gyps tenuirostris), and White-rumped (Gyps bengalensis) — are all listed on the IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered. Cambodia supports the largest population of vultures in Southeast Asia, but there [are] only a few hundred individuals left in the country.

As part of the Bird’s Nest Protection Program, WCS has employed six community members to protect the nests of these vultures. Local people are now incentivized to protect the Critically Endangered species until their eggs hatch and the chicks are able to leave the nest — as opposed to taking the chicks to sell.

“I am eager to protect vulture nests because I can generate income to support my family and I’m able to join in conserving this species that is now very rare”, said Soeng Sang, a Red-headed Vulture nest protector. “I have spent much of my time staying near the nest site to prevent any disturbances or harm. I am committed to saving this bird for the next generation.”

Increased levels of hunting, forest loss and land conversion, land encroachment and selective logging negatively affect the birds through loss of nesting sites and reduction in prey availability. In addition, at least 30 vultures were killed over the past five years in Cambodia due to widespread indiscriminate use of deadly poisons by villagers in and around water sources to catch birds and … small mammals, which is severely affecting the vulture population. “The Red-headed vulture is a very rare species; they are facing a high risk of extinction,” said Tan Sophan, WCS’s Vulture Project Coordinator in Chhep Wildlife Sanctuary. “Besides nest protection, we also organize ‘vulture restaurants‘ to feed vultures every month.”

Vulture restaurants are sites where the birds are periodically provided supplementary feedings. This activity is a collaboration between the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fishery, and a consortium of NGOs, and also doubles as a tool to raise awareness of their importance to the landscape and human health.”In addition, tourists visiting the restaurant with Sam Veasna Centre have significantly contributed to saving the species and improving local livelihoods”, Sophan added.

Young vultures freed into the wild


This 10 January 2018 video from Artis zoo in Amsterdam in the Netherlands says about itself (translated):

Today two young griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) are going from ARTIS to Sardinia to be released in the wild later this year. The birds hatched in April and May last year in ARTIS. One young bird was cared for by a same-sex male griffon vulture couple. The other vulture is the offspring of two vultures who had been injured in the wild in Spain and – after having partially recovered – were admitted to ARTIS.

See also here.

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.

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.

India’s Critically Endangered vulture populations seemed to be stabilising, but a new study has revealed that numbers may be even fewer than we thought. Although vulture-killing livestock drug diclofenac has been banned, there are other drugs, equally fatal to vultures, that have not – and this is thought to be the main cause: here.

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.