ftE NewsClip: Poisons Are Greatest Threat to Vultures

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Corinne Kendall, in her ftE article African Vulture Research, describes how poisons are threatening vultures all over the world. In a recent article in Biological Conservation magazine, two other researchers added to that concern when they stated that carcass poisoning is the single greatest threat to the world’s vulture populations, and noted that vultures are the most threatened group of birds on the planet.

These scientists found that the most dangerous part of the world for vultures is sub-Saharan Africa. One problem is that farmers use poisons against predators like lions and jackals. The farmers poison a carcass in the hopes of killing nearby predators; however, vultures also feed on the carcass and die soon thereafter. Likewise, poachers poison carcasses in order to hide the bodies of the animals they kill.

For example, the scientists said, there were as many as 600 dead vultures located at just one poisoned elephant carcass.

The article goes on to stress how the loss of vultures hurts food webs, and how the loss of vultures also hurts humans.

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