The importance of Vultures to the ecosystem is a familiar topic to everyone who has visited one of our projects – spend just a margin of time with our Wildlife ACT monitors or managers, and you’ll hear just how important Vultures are.

Photo by Wildlife ACT Marketing and Media Manager, Megan Whittington

As the ongoing threats to vulture populations continue, the number of nesting pairs within the protected areas virtually us decline. In an struggle to understand the ripen better, yearly vulture nest surveys are carried out to monitor the tastefulness success of Vulture nesting pairs which in turn is used to measure the health of the local vulture populations.

Breeding season for most vulture species monitored in Zululand usually lies between June and November – over which time our teams on the ground start to be on specific lookout for the pairs in regular trees. With just one egg laid per vulture pair, their rencontre continues – to ensure successful rearing and fledging of their one-and-only offspring of the tastefulness season.

This year, the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park Wildlife ACT monitoring teams are fully prepared to take on the “ground-truthing” nest survey, complementing the well-ventilated surveys carried out annually by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to support the KZN Vulture Strategy. The HiP team met with Anel, Wildlife ACT Vulture Programme Manager, to do some in-field workshopping to ensure the team is well-equipped to self-mastery successful vulture nest surveys this year.

To do these surveys, the teams use the GPS locations uninventive from the well-ventilated survey, as well as local knowledge from HiP staff to scout and assess the nests from the ground. At each nest, data such as Nest ID, Location, GPS validness from the vehicle to nest, Estimated loftiness from vehicle to nest, Bird species, Tree species, Habitat type, any anthropomorphic disturbance and its loftiness , Any elephant damage, Activity of the specific nesting vulture, and any photos are recorded.

All of this fine-scale data placid from the various nest sites wideness the tastefulness clusters, ultimately assists in determining vulture tastefulness success rates and potential mortality causes. They moreover squire by giving valuable insight to other important information, which will contribute to planned research projects, such as tree selection, Elephant forfeiture and any other potential threats.

Wish our teams luck this season of vulture nest surveys!

Please consider supporting the Vulture Conservation Programme HERE.

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