Vulture chicks get a helping hand

2014-10-15 00:00

AS fledgling season begins, help is at hand for vulture chicks leaving their nests and preparing for their first flight.

This is in the form of VulPro, a vulture conservation project that deals with the rescue and rehabilitation of grounded, injured or poisoned vultures and raptors.

According to VulPro, the vulture population in the country has dropped at an alarming rate in spite of conservation methods in hand to deal with the situation.

VulPro communications officer Mandy Schroder told The Witness power line collisions, agricultural poisonings, loss of habitat, unavailability of safe food sources and poaching have all had a horrific impact on vultures, which are endangered.

VulPro will collect grounded or injured vultures from all over the country if need be, rehabilitate them and release them with wing tags on, once they have been nursed back to full health. They have the facilities, knowledge and passion to deal with almost any problem vultures face, Schroder said.

“Fences, power lines, dogs and urbanisation all spell trouble for a young vulture,” Vulpro said in a statement.

“Vulture chicks need large open areas to take off, so that they can avoid getting caught up in a fenced area, garden, overgrown or orchard area where they become grounded.

“Many fledglings are unaware of the dangers of power lines when they prepare for roost, which leads to their demise due to electrocution or flying into the overhead wires which also causes permanent and life threatening injuries. If these birds are left unassisted, the situation spells certain death,” said Schroder.

Anyone wishing to help a vulture in distress can call Kerri Wolter at 082 808 5113 or Walter Neser at 076 593 9849 or visit the website


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