This week it is the letter V and I have chosen another bird this week, it is a Vulture. 

The Vulture can be split into 2 groups, the New world Vulture found in North and South America, these are mainly Condors, then there are the Old world Vultures which are the scavenging birds found mainly across Africa but also in Europe and Asia. These 2 Vulture groups are divided into a further 23 species of Vulture, 7 in the New world and the rest in the old world. 


Vultures are often seen as disgusting birds, They are said to be bald, ugly and feast on decaying carcasses, some of these things may be true however he reality is that Vultures can be beautiful creatures, a vulture in flight is extremely graceful and not all vultures are bald and ugly.  Yes it is true that Vultures do eat dead animals however without the vultures to clean up the carcasses diseases would be far more likely, Vultures have amazing stomach acids that kill off most bacteria so can eat even the most rotten of meat. 


In India, Nepal and other parts of Asia there has been a period of treating cattle with an anti-inflammatory drug called Diclofenac, this drug stays in the bodies of the cattle and is highly poisonous to vultures, the vulture populations across India and Nepal have decreased rapidly because of this drug and Diclofenac is now banned in many parts of the world. Because of the decline of Vultures India has seen a sharp rise in dead decaying cattle and there is a significant risk from deadly diseases  such as Anthrax, the Stray dog population has also dramatically increased and with that there is an increase in rabies, with no vultures to clear the dead animals the diseases are easily passed on to other animals and humans. 


In 2016 a study reported that out of the 23 species of Vulture, nine are now critically endangered with a further three endangered and four threatened. Thankfully governments around the world are trying to conserve the remaining vulture populations and captive breeding programmes are aiming to introduce more vultures back into the wild.


One of the main reasons I am doing this project is to raise awareness for many of the threatened animals on our delicate planet, one way you can help is to share this and any of my posts on social media. You can also donate to my just giving page. It is a safe secure method of donating money to the WWF and ALL of the money goes directly to the charity - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/EndangeredSpecies




#vulture #endangeredspecies #wwf