Vultures play a very important role in the world´s ecosystem – they are nature’s clean-up crew. They don’t kill, they eat the flesh of other dead animals, thus helping to reduce the spread of disease and eliminating the need for the treatment and incineration of thousands of tons of animal remains every year, saving us millions of euros in waste management and potential emissions of hundreds of thousands of tons of C02 per year.
Unfortunately, they face a range of threats and so populations of many species are under pressure and some species are facing extinction – the VCF is working hard in Europe to minimize those threats and actively work on the ground with several populations to increase them.
More globally, the VCF and its partners have developed a Vulture Multi-Species Action Plan (MsAP), prepared in the framework of the Convention for the Migratory Species, that list the priority actions that need to be taken in order to improve the conservation status of 15 species of old world vultures. The Vulture MsAP will hopefully be approved by all signatory states in the next Conference of the Parties this fall, and will then be a significant tool to address these massive poisoning incidents and therefore revert the decline of several vulture species.
It is important to promote the conservation of vultures to a wider audience and highlight the important work being carried out by the world’s vulture conservationists, and so the coming International Vulture Awareness Day is a great opportunity.
This initiative – with origin on the Vulture Awareness Days run by the Birds of Prey Programme of the Endangered Wildlife Trust in South Africa and the Hawk Conservancy Trust in England, has now grown into an international event open to all organizations and stakeholders.
This year´s International Vulture Awareness Day is on the 2nd September – each participating organization should carry out their own activities that highlight vulture conservation and awareness. The list of activities is then listed on a website that allows people to learn about the activities and develop new collaborations or exchange information.
If you are thinking to organize something on vultures – it can be something as simple as a talk, or a walk to watch vultures, please register your event in the IVAD website (http://www.vultureday.org/)