Latest newsletter of the IUCN Vulture Specialist Group

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Bringing together the latest developments in vulture conservation and research from around the world the IUCN Vulture Specialist Group have published their latest biannual newsletter. 

The IUCN Vulture Specialist Group 

The Vulture Specialist Group is one of 140 Specialist Groups that along with a science-based network of more than 10,000 volunteer experts, Red List Authorities and Task Forces make up the  International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission (SSC), dedicated to delivery of actions that conserve nature. 

The Vulture Specialist Group is made up of regional co-chairs with the Vulture Conservation Foundation Director José Tavares is co-chair of the Europe region.   

Vulture Multi-species Action Plan

Since the publication of the last newsletter the Vulture Multi-species Action Plan, comprehensive strategic Action Plan covering the whole geographic ranges (128 countries) of 15 species of Old World vultures to promote concerted and collaborative international conservation actions, has been approved by the United Nation’s Convention on Migratory Species.  

IUCN Green List 

The IUCN’s Red List identifies particular species at risk of extinction and overall trends in extinction risk of particular taxa. However, warnings of imminent extinctions are not the only way to catalyse conservation efforts, however. The IUCN are currently developing an expansion of the Red List to include classifiers of conservation success that presents a road map on how to conserve a species and achieve its recovery. The Eurasian Griffon vulture and the bearded vulture are being tested for possible inclusion in a European context. 

International Vulture Awareness Day 2018

A total of 110 organisations including conservation organisations, universities, nature reserves, state parks, wildlife parks, zoos and museums.registered activities for International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) 2018, from 26 different countries across five continents.


The Raptor Research Foundation Conference is being held in the Kruger National Park, S Africa between the 12-16th Nov and will include 25 vulture presentations, and sessions on raptor tagging and tracking best practice. 

On the 1st August the South African Dept. Environmental Affairs hosted an initial stakeholder meeting in Pretoria to draft a National Vulture Conservation Action Plan (NVCAP) for South Africa – a first step to implementing the CMS Vulture MsAP which will hopefully be replicated in other southern African countries. 

The first Vulture Safe Zones (VSZ) in Africa have been set up in Zambia with over 250,000 hectares secured through outreach amongst farm managers and land owners. These zones will focused on farm management practices, farmers and landowners in VSZs agree not to use poisons, follow guidance on appropriate use of chemicals and dispose carcasses in designated areas with restricted access.


In November 2017 six critically endangered white rumped vultures were released in Nepal and following on from this initial release 12 more were released in September, including the first ever eight captive-bred birds hatched at the Kasara Breeding Centre. The birds are all doing well, head to the SAVE website to follow their progress.   

In the Sindh Province of Pakistan in June, the use of ketoprofen and aceclofenac was restricted around the main vulture colonies by the drug authority following letters and requests from WWF Pakistan. This move, it is hoped, will be the first step to a nation wide restriction on the use of the drugs. , 


Our work on the LIFE EuroSAP project revising and updating the Species Action Plans for the bearded and cinereous vultures saw them both being formally approved by the European Commission in May. A great result for vulture conservation in Europe. 

Our Blog features daily items that shares the latest news from the Vulture Conservation Foundation’s work and the work of other projects and organisations across Europe. 

North America 

Researchers from West Virginia University, the United States Geological Survey and other organisations are working on flight behaviour of California Condors to inform risks they may face from wind energy development

South America

The Colombian Symposium of Ecology and Conservation of Raptors, Owls and New World Vultures, 3-7 th Dec 2018 will take place at the V Congreso Colombiano de Zoología in Bogota.

The next edition of the Vulture Specialist Group newsletter will be published in February 2019 and do feel free to submit items for inclusion to the editor or submit longer articles for inclusion in the Vulture Specialist Group Journal. 

IUCN Vulture Specialist Group Newsletter September 2018 18 10 Vulture Specialist Group Newslette Adobe Acrobat Document 361.2 KB Download

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