Love a Vulture

Today is International Vulture Awareness day.

Why do we need to raise awareness for vultures? Ugly, bald-headed things, eating dead stuff… True (although I beg to differ on the ugly thing, I think they’re quite beautiful in their own way), but did you know that in the last 20 years, 99% of the vulture population in regions of Nepal and India has vanished? A now banned drug called diclofenac leads to kidney failure in vultures when they ingest it, and this drug, which is commonly used in humans, was also used in ailing cattle that died anyway and were then eaten by vultures. Which led to the vultures dying. 100 million vultures, dead.
A vulture will eat a good bit of meat every day, and 100 million of them NOT eating dead stuff that’s lying around is a big problem. The population of feral dogs has shot up, bringing rabies etc. with them.  Not a good situation, is it.

Organisations like VultureRescue (www.vulturerescue.org) have been working tirelessly to save the vultures from extinction. They’re buying up old cattle, for very little money, and letting these animals live out their life naturally. When they die, they’re safe for vultures to eat and drug-free. In the areas around these ‘vulture restaurants’, the vulture population is recovering, slowly, so it’s working. But there’s still much more to be done. A lot of it has to do with awareness – many people just don’t know about this crisis. We all know about the majestic tigers and cute pandas – well, now you know about the magnificient vultures, too.

Show them some love.

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~ by Simone on September 3, 2011.

5 Responses to “Love a Vulture”

  1. I do every day as I see them soar high above looking for something to eat. They are Nature’s way of keeping disease like rabies from spreading and to quickly cycle back into the Earth, an animal’s nutrients for the next generation.

  2. Glorious bird, and a very good example of the delicate balance of nature. I’m fond of bats, not everyone’s favourite thing but vitally important in the grand scheme of things.

  3. Informative post and great pictures. I will look at vultures differently when I see them in the future.

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