|14 photos, please scroll down|
© Jill Adams
Cape VultureCape Griffon Gyps coprotheres Kransaasvoël Kapgeier
© Ed Raubenheimer
© Hennie Cilliers
Another of the vultures that was recently uplisted to Near Threatened
Giant's Castle December 2015
© Trevor Hardaker
© Johan van Noordwyk
© Mark Drysdale
Jackal, White-necked Raven and Cape Vulture competing for a bone
also called Cape Griffon
© Hennie Storm
Cape Vulture landing
© Brian Radford
© Billy Steenkamp
Palm-nut Vulture White-backed Vulture Lappet-faced Vulture Hooded VultureThe 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
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.