Illegal poisoning of wildlife increases

2015-10-14 06:00

THE recent death of vultures, Blue Cranes, Brown Hyaenas and other wildlife due to illegal poisoning should act as a wake-up call for South African conservation authorities, law enforcement agencies and conservationists. While rhinos are faced with a grave poaching threat, other equally important wildlife species, especially scavengers and predators, are at risk of steep decline if the current spate of illegal poisoning continues. Deliberate poisoning of wildlife is on the increase. Some of the poisonings are committed by poachers who kill wildlife for traditional medicine - vultures are mostly targeted for their heads which are used in divination.

What is of grave concern is the illegal use of pesticides and other poisons such as sodium monofluoroacetate by livestock and wildlife owners to kill predators. Despite a concerted effort by the livestock industry, driven the Predation Management Forum (PMF) to offer farmers alternatives to poisoning predators, some individuals do not heed to warnings to refrain from illegal use of pesticides and poisons. Provincial conservation agencies have warned that the liberal distribution and use of sodium monofluoroacetate (also known as Compound 1080) is illegal and should any retailer or landowner be found in possession of it, they will be prosecuted.

Livestock owners who experience stock losses due to predation are likely to consider poison as a remedy. Only the poison collar is legal and only after a permit is obtained from the conservation authorities. It is well known that aldicarb, carbofuran, methomyl and Compound 1080 are illegally used to poison predators. The results are devastating and over the past two years many vultures have perished at the hands of those who lay poisoned baits.

The Griffon Poison Information Centre endeavours to rid the country of illegal poisoning. Its supporters, many of which are farmers, are gathering intelligence on individuals who illegally poison wildlife. On the other hand it is offering a hand of assistance via the Predation Management Forum to mitigate predation.

Information and assistance may be requested via

Any information about illegal wildlife poisoning may be called into 082 446 8946 or email nesher@tiscali.

- VulPro NPO.

What is of grave concern is the illegal use of pesticides and other poisons such as sodium monofluoroacetate by livestock and wildlife owners to kill predators

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