We are excited to share that five rehabilitated African White-backed Vultures have been released back into the wild!
The vulture release, which took place on Manyoni Private Game Reserve, formed part of the work done by the Zululand Vulture Project and was made possible by Wildlife ACT, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Raptor Rescue Rehabilitation Centre and Dr Mike Toft.
An important part of this work involves responding to poisoned, injured or otherwise compromised Vultures, providing emergency care when appropriate, and transporting compromised birds to our rehabilitation partner, Raptor Rescue Rehabilitation Centre. This accredited rehabilitation centre provides these birds with professional treatment and care until they are ready for release.
In December 2022, five poisoned African White-backed Vultures were captured and treated by our Emergency Response Team at a mass wildlife poisoning scene before being transported to Raptor Rescue Rehabilitation Centre for further treatment. Despite the best efforts of all involved, one individual didn’t survive.
The four surviving birds were released together with another Vulture that was found with a broken wing earlier in 2022, which required a significantly longer rehabilitation period. The five rehabilitated Vultures were fitted with uniquely identifiable patagial tags, leg rings, and GPS tracking units before release. This will enable the Wildlife ACT team to monitor their post-release movements, respond in case of an emergency, and assess the rehabilitation success.
While we work hard towards eliminating threats and creating more safe habitat for Vultures to live in, each individual bird saved and released, no matter the species, is considered a victory. The value of wildlife tracking units cannot be underestimated when it comes to Vulture conservation.
We still need 10 more vulture tracking units to reach our target for the year. Please consider supporting this important conservation work. To sponsor a Vulture tracking unit, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.