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Animals & Wildlife · 01:33

Vultures Namibia

  • By Paul Webster · South Africa, SSA

 

Vultures Namibia

Main aim of the charity

Vultures Namibia’s focus activities: - 1) Lappet-faced Vulture ringing project in the Namib-Naukluft Park 2) Vulture ringing on commercial farms 3) Visits to farming communities to promote vulture conservation Vultures Namibia was established in 1997, at which stage it formed the Namibian representation of the Vulture Study Group (a working group of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, now the Birds of Prey Program, BoPP). It was officially renamed “Vultures Namibia” in 2005, to reflect its local identity. It however continues to have strong ties with the BoPP, and other organizations involved in raptor conservation.

How the employee got involved and why

I got involved in Vultures Namibia through friend of a friend and met the ex Game Warden (Peter Bridgeford) for Vultures Namibia who has been working tirelessly over the last 30 years to preserve the Lappet Faced Vultures. I have a true love for all the wildlife, and want to help out / contribute / donate / save where and when possible. We don't realise how much we as Humans need the wildlife around us to sustain our own lifestyle. Vultures are key, for one thing they prevent the spread of diseases such as anthrax, cholera, botulinum toxin, and rabies through eating rotting carcasses. Rotting carcasses can also contaminate ground water. Therefore Africa needs Vultures more than we realise. But so little is known of their movements, since they travel vast distances. Vulture Namibia tag and track these birds, but are solely dependent on volunteers and donations.

What work does the employee do for charity?

At the moment, the vultures only breed once a year around October time, and this is where they really need not only donations but also volunteers to help drive to the nests sites (which are kilometres apart), basically is quite hard (rewarding) labour work to set-up, bring the birds down, ring, tag, weigh, etc and back up and then pack up and go to the next one. They usually have around 90 - 100 chicks, and have a very short window period to when to actually ring the chicks, when they not too young and also when they not too old and already left the nest. They also require donations for fuel for the plane and cars, tags and all other equipment. So I do both, I personally donate money and then my time, which involves driving to Namibia and spending a week to assist.

What impact would winning have on the charity?

Receiving any sizeable donation would go a long way to assist in the cost element of this annual exercise, but then also to allow them more opportunities to work with all local farmers in preventing poisoning of carcasses which has a devastating impact. A poisoned carcass can wipe out over hundreds of vultures in one go. And there are numerous cases like this across Africa.

What impact would winning have on the employee?

Knowing that we are contributing in helping to save natures clean up crew would go a long way. Most vulture species have had reductions in their population of over 90% and more and are marked as either Critically Endangered to Endangered. More needs to be done and fast to halt them from become extinct. So knowing we are helping to save them from extinct would be incredible.

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