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Poisoning drives vulture decline in Masai Mara, Kenya December 17, 2010

Posted by newboyinfl in Uncategorized.

Vulture populations in a single of Africas most significant wildlife reserves have declined by 60%, say scientists. important

The researchers suggest that the decline of vultures in Kenyas Masai Mara is being driven by poisoning.

The US-based Peregrine Fund says farmers sometimes lace the bodies of useless cattle or goats with a poisonous pesticide referred to as furadan.

This appears to become aimed at carnivores that kill the livestock, but one particular carcass can poison as much as 150 vultures.

Munir Virani, that is director in the Peregrine Funds Africa programmes, has referred to as for use of furadan to become banned in the area ‘to preserve these keystone members in the scavenging community’.

‘People could think of vultures as unsightly and disgusting, however the birds are vital for that ecosystem,’ he says.

Their style for carrion really helps make them the landscapes clean-up team – guaranteeing the area is just not littered with bodies, helping contain the spread of condition and recycling vitamins.

The results of this most recent survey of vultures are revealed in the journal Biological Conservation.

The terrible effects of a vulture population crash have already been demonstrated in the course of a situation that grew to become generally known as the Asian vulture crisis.

Populations of Gyps vultures particularly, in South Asia, crashed by over 95% more than only a few years in the 1990s, principally because farmers treated their cattle with the pain-killing drug diclofenac.

The pain-killer, it turned out, was deadly on the vultures, which fed to the useless cattle.

Also as driving 3 species of vulture on the brink of extinction, the crisis supplied a massive quantity of meals for wild canines, which moved in to take the location in the birds.

This had the devastating side-effect of rising the spread of rabies. And Dr Virani is worried that a similar circumstances could transpire in Kenya.

The option in Africa however, may be far more straightforward than in South Asia.

By boosting the general public image of vultures in the region, the Peregrine Fund hopes to end individuals from carrying out these ‘revenge poisoning attacks’.

Amongst 2003 and 2005, Dr Virani and his colleagues drove across the expansive Kenyan landscapes, counting vultures.

He and his colleagues then compared the outcomes of those surveys with the outcomes of surveys completed in the 1980s. The comparison revealed a 60% decline in vultures.

Corinne Kendalls function has taken this survey a step additional.

Ms Kendal is actually a researcher from Princeton University in the US, that has also been functioning with the Peregrine Fund – tracking and monitoring the birds to investigate the extent in the poisoning.

‘We attached the GPS trackers like small backpacks,’ she tells BBC Information. ‘Theres a piece that sits on their chest and two loops about every wing.’

‘But we had 4 out of 16 vultures killed in the first year and 3 of people were confirmed scenarios of poisoning.

‘From a sample of 16, it is tricky to know how consultant that may be, but it is particularly worrying.’



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