The Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project works to conserve the Bearded and Cape Vulture species in the Maloti-Drakensberg region, in both South Africa and Lesotho, ensuring the preservation of the birds for future generations. We aim to implement effective research, education, protection, conservation and recovery operations to prevent further decline of the species.
The Bearded and Cape Vulture Task forces have been and will continue to monitor and track the birds via satellite transmitters in order to observe ranging behaviour and species survival, and will continue to spread a “vulture culture” awareness amongst the public and in particular in farming communities and schools in the region, in both South Africa and Lesotho. In doing so we hope to eliminate the myths associated with these birds and the threats which face the species, in order to ensure the longevity of these indigenous vultures.
In addition, plans are in motion to start a captive breeding programme, following methods successfully implemented in Europe, where the birds will be raised in captivity until they are ready to fledge, after which they are released into the wild. The breeding programme is aiming to release Bearded vultures into the wild by 2017, in order to boost the population. We can only hope that the clock has not struck twelve for these awe inspiring vultures by the time this programme comes into effect.
In short, the Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project aims to ensure the survival of the protected species of the Bearded and Cape Vulture through:
- Continuing to research and monitor breeding status, breeding success, movements and mortality rates.
- Conserving their breeding and foraging ranges, raising awareness around the impact that infrastructure such as the Letšeng Wind Farm will have on the birds survival.
- Educating communities on the important ecological role that the vultures play.
- Garnering public support and generating awareness of the threatened species.
- Implement an effective breeding programme to boost the species.
- Conserve the vulture species for future generations by addressing threats to the species, in particular poisoning.
Visit Website: projectvulture.org.za