Vultures consume up to 70% of the world’s carrion. They provide an invaluable service by cleaning up the environment since they are able to digest such pathogens as anthrax, rabies, salmonella, tuberculosis, and brucellosis. In some parts of Africa, they are called the “Soap of the Savanna.”
Lately, African vulture populations have been decimated primarily because of poisoning. Poisoning occurs when carcasses are laced with pesticides or other toxic substances with the intent to kill vultures or other carnivores. Poisoning can be motivated by retaliatory killings for livestock losses, by poachers working to prevent rangers from detecting their illegal activities by killing vultures, and by direct persecution for vulture body parts and trade. Six species have been particularly affected: Cape Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Hooded Vulture, Rüppell’s Vulture, White-backed Vulture, and the White-headed Vulture. The first two species are considered Endangered, while the last four are Critically Endangered.
100% of proceeds will go directly to AZA’s SAFE program for African Vultures. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE), focuses the collective expertise within 230 accredited zoos and aquariums and leverages their massive audiences to save species. At the same time, SAFE will build capacity to increase direct conservation spending, as well as the impact on saving species through work in the field, in zoos and aquariums, and through public engagement. We have done it before. Some species exist only because of the efforts of aquariums and zoos and their conservation partners.
Celebrate International Vulture Awareness Day by joining the AAZK San Diego Chapter on September 3, 2018, from 4-7 p.m., at AleSmith Brewing Company (http://alesmith.com/) for our inaugural event of Scavenge For Scavengers!