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GPS tracking helps identify threats to endangered vulturesBy ATTA®
Between July and August 2020, 10 critically endangered African white-backed vultures have been discovered dead in four separate incidents in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Of these 10 birds, four had been fitted with either patagial wing tags, GPS backpacks or both. These efforts form part of the Zululand Vulture Projects’ efforts to monitor the fine scale movements and behaviour of African white-backed and lappet-faced vultures, as well as identify potential threats and areas of risk.
The recent information received from these birds that were fitted with GPS transmitters has revealed further insight into the challenges faced by vulture species in the region.
‘One of the most important principles in species conservation is to identify all of the threats that are faced by the species. Without understanding the reasons for a particular animal’s demise, attempts to conserve and recover the population are futile, as conservation efforts continue to fight against existing threats with no initiatives being put in place to address the root cause,’ said PJ Roberts, Wildlife ACT emergency response manager.