Vultures Killed by Poachers

African Whjte-Backed Vulture

According to an article in The Scotsman, poison attacks kill vultures in mass.

The sight of vultures congregating high above the African bush is a sure sign of a recent kill. But the scavengers are hated by poachers because they alert rangers to their presence. Poachers lace the carcasses of elephants and other game with ­cyanide or pesticides such as temik so the birds die before they can take to the skies again.

Despite ever more conservationist measures all over the world, hundreds of thousands of elephants are slaughtered by poachers every year for their ivory. 65% of all elephant deaths are now attributable to poaching, up from 25% only ten years ago.

Similar statistics apply to poaching of tigers. There are only a few thousand left alive in the world.

We are witnessing a mass extinction of wildlife unlike anything seen in the history of the world right now, with the possible exception of the Chicxulub asteroid hit 65 million years ago.

It is incredible sad to think that humans think nothing of killing off entire species of animals for short term gain. Poachers are African poor people who just want to feed their families. Income inequality strikes in its own strange way in other countries.

One day, not too far in the future, there won’t be any wild elephants, wild tigers, and – what I would not have expected – wild vultures.

One thought on “Vultures Killed by Poachers

  1. Mary Barnes

    The California condor is also critically endangered, partly by lead poisoning from eating animals that were shot and left in the field. Your readers can help. Here is a citizen science project where you can log on, view motion-activated photos of condors, and help track the birds to see if location or social behavior can reveal early signs of lead poisoning.

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