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13 photos, please scroll down
Cape Vulture

© Jill Adams

Cape Vulture

Gyps coprotheres  Kransaasvoël  Kapgeier

Cape Vulture

Cape Vulture
© Ed Raubenheimer

Cape Vulture

Cape Vulture
© Hennie Cilliers

Cape Vulture

Another of the vultures that was recently uplisted to Near Threatened
Giant's Castle December 2015
© Trevor Hardaker

Cape Vulture

© Johan van Noordwyk

Cape Vulture

Cape Vulture

Cape Vulture

© Mark Drysdale

Cape Vulture

Cape Vulture

Jackal, White-necked Raven and Cape Vulture competing for a bone

Cape Vulture

Cape Vulture
© Hennie Storm

Cape Vulture landing

Cape Vulture landing
© Brian Radford

Cape vulture

Cape vulture

© Billy Steenkamp

Palm-nut Vulture   White-backed Vulture   Lappet-faced Vulture   Hooded Vulture

The Cape vulture is one of the nine different vultures recorded in Southern Africa. Its conservation status is classified as "Vulnerable".
As the big herds of wild animals have diminished, there is less food available for vultures. Man-made threats put even more pressure on their survival chances. As better farm husbandry practices develop there are less livestock mortalities. Conversely, over-grazing causes bush encroachment, which hinders the vultures' visual ability to find carcasses. Vultures often get electrocuted by, or collide with, powerlines and even poisoned indirectly by people targeting stock killers. There is a cultural belief that vultures locate their food with a clairvoyant ability. As a result, vultures are killed and their body parts (especially brains) used for traditional medicine purposes to transfer this 'foresight' to the consumer.
Another myth is that these big birds are a threat to livestock. Unlike the big eagles, vultures have weak feet, designed for gripping not killing. They are extremely wary when approaching a carcass, often perching to assess whether the coast is clear. They would be even less likely to try and immobilize live prey. Cape vultures are awesome birds, in the truest sense of the word, worthy of our respect and protection. We, as South Africans, hold the key to their survival. There are about 8000 left.
Mark Drysdale
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