Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Why Africa's Vultures Are "Collapsing Toward Extinction"

A demand for vulture parts in witchcraft, as well as poisoning and urbanization, has caused a nearly 90 percent decline in the scavengers' populations.

Across Africa, vultures are electrocuted by power lines or crushed by wind turbines. Their brains are ground to snuff by witch doctors who believe the substance has magical powers. They die after eating  pesticide-laced carcasses intended for lions and other predators.

As a result, vulture populations are plummeting.
Africa's eight vulture species have declined in number by an average of 62 percent during the last 30 years, according to the first estimates of a continent-wide decline in the large birds. Six of those species would likely be considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Read more: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150731-vultures-africa-birds-animals-science/

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