Project History & Aims
VulPro aims “to advance knowledge, awareness and innovation in the conservation of Southern African vulture populations for the benefit and well-being of society.”
These aims are achieved through veterinary and ecological research, wild vulture population monitoring, education and awareness, conservation breeding, rehabilitation and reintroduction work.
The VulPro captive breeding programme is going well, with seven VulPro captive bred chicks and three from the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, released in early 2015, fitted with GPS tracking units and monitored to research whether age at release plays a vital role in success. The first chick of 2015 was laid on 24 April by their pioneering pair and incubation and brooding facilities have recently been increased. A satellite station site has been setup to alleviate the pressures on the breeding centre as numbers of long term vulture residents continues to rise.
Farmers are one of the main stakeholders to partner with as they are the people in the field that are most likely to come across birds that are sick, injured or have been electrocuted (collision with transmission lines). VulPro spoke to many farmers in 2015, passing on contact details to report for assistance, and enabling VulPro to work with them on conflict situations.
Many farmers have set up ‘vulture restaurants’ to facilitate the carcass disposal issues many farmers face and also to benefit the vultures by providing them with a safe area to feed and carcasses to feed off that do not contain any harmful drug residues. These restaurants have proved very successful with some participating farmers seeing breeding within these vulture groups.
In 2014, our Animal Training and Presentation team at Banham Zoo chose to support the VulPro project, utilising the unique educational value our bird flying display has here at the zoo, which features the Rüppell’s griffon, hooded and white-backed vultures. This educational message, coupled with seeing these amazing birds up close has raised £1,350 from visitors in the last two years for Vulpro.
How is Banham Zoo Supporting VulPro?
In 2015 Banham Zoo donated £550 to VULPRO.
A total of £1,350 has been donated by Banham Zoo since 2014.
For more information go to: www.vulpro.com.
Photos courtesy of www.vulpro.com.