Project History & Aims
VulPro aims “to advance knowledge, awareness and innovation in the conservation of 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.
VulPro has continued with their annual surveys of several Cape vulture breeding colonies as well as a few sites of African white-backed and hooded vultures. The surveys cover the Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces as well as one Cape vulture colony in Botswana. We are planning to cover the Free State and some of the Eastern Cape vulture colonies during the 2018 breeding season. As it stands, we are covering approximately 50% of the entire Cape vulture breeding population globally. Success rate for the 2017 breeding surveys shows positive results and all within the range or even above the acceptable breeding success rate for the tree nesting vulture species. Some of the Cape vulture colonies continue to show slight upward trends which we associate with the mitigation of power lines as a direct result from VulPro’s work, as well as the supplementation of safe, reliable and uncontaminated food sources within the vultures’ foraging range.
The 2017 Cape vulture breeding programme has seen an increase of 30% compared to 2016, producing 10 fledglings out of 16 breeding pairs. The 2017 offspring will remain at VulPro until mid 2018 and then be transported to the release site at the Nooitgedacht Cape Vulture Breeding Colony in the Gauteng Province, SA.
Power Line Aversion Training
Vulture deaths through collision with power lines is sadly very common and starting in January 2017, mock power line infrastructure has been placed inside the rehabilitation and pre-release enclosures, in addition to several other ‘safe’ perches. The top surface of each pole design will emit a small, approximately 6V, electrical current anytime a vulture lands, encouraging the bird to leave and deter future perching attempts.
VulPro’s restaurant has been ongoing for almost 5 years. They have wild vulture visitors daily, and at times can get up to 350 vultures.
VulPro supplies an average of 10,000 kg of meat each month, meaning around 2,500 kg of meat is consumed by the vultures on a weekly basis at the restaurant alone. This highlights the large amount of rotting meat vultures consume and ultimately how important they are to clean up the planet. On average, about 3,000 vultures visit the restaurant every month.
For more information go to: www.vulpro.com.
Photos courtesy of VULPRO.