The numbers of Vultures seen or observed in recent times has largely declined. The Major threats to this species include Habitat Loss; non-target poisoning, capture for traditional medicine, bushmeat and direct persecution. In Nigeria, a survey of medicinal traders found that Hooded Vulture was commonly traded. (Ref: Saidu and Buij 2013). To, therefore, ensure that we don’t loose the Unique Ecosystem role that Vultures such as the Hooded Vulture Species provide to the environment and to humans by their feeding nature in cleaning up the environment and preventing spread of diseases in our cities and villages, we have secured an invitation for 2 persons to be trained by VulPro, a leading Vulture Conservation Organization in the World based in South Africa, on vulture conservation surveys and vulture handling methods as part of our Vulture Conservation Initiative in Nigeria.
VulPro is recognised as the leading international vulture conservation organisation. Founded in 2007, our expertise lies in conservation, research, population surveys and monitoring, captive breeding, rehabilitation, educational and awareness programmes for vultures within Southern Africa and abroad. VulPro has received numerous awards and nominations; PAAZA conservation award for 2015 and 2016; nominated for the South African conservationist of the year – results pending. VulPro has co-authored over 39 peer-reviewed publications, been instrumental in getting Diclofenac (NSAID) banned in India and Pakistan which was found to be the leading cause resulting in the vulture crisis. VulPro also took the lead with the University of Pretoria’s veterinary department in testing additional NSAIDs and finding the only safe NSAID for vultures. VulPro continues to lead vulture conservation and has recently established the first Cape Vulture reintroduction programme in Namibia as well as the first organisation to supplement existing Cape Vulture populations in South Africa. VulPro is also the first organisation to produce the first breeding survey publication for the species: Monadjem A, Wolter K, Neser W, and Bildstein, K. 2016. Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus and African White-backed Vulture Gyps africanus nesting at the Olifants River Private Nature Reserve, Limpopo province, South Africa. Ostrich. DOI: 10.2989/00306525.2016.1179690.
Website address: www.vulpro.com : https://www.facebook.com/VulProAfrica/
VulPro has graciously agreed to jointly with us set up the monitoring and conservation programme for Hooded Vultures in Nigeria. Lufasi Nature Park has also agreed to partner and allow us to undertake this initiative on their reserve as a pilot study and will provide all access and support where necessary and it’s aimed at protecting and preserving the Hooded vulture populations within the Park and adjacent areas. We have at the same time identified another population in Ondo State, we shall also be working with.
TARGET AUDIENCE(S) AND BEHAVIOR(S):
a) This Hooded Vulture project would meet the needs of society in Nigeria, as defined by having a healthy, hygienic environment through the natural consumption of carcases by Hooded vultures and thus reducing rotten carcases from lying around the city resulting in diseases for both humans and animals.
b) The General public to change negative attitudinal behaviour to vultures. Vultures are not that accepted in the Society. People see them as a bad omen and therefore seek to kill them whenever they are around. Some even think they are witches and wizards turned into birds.
c) Government to provide more incentives for preservation of habitats, protection and conservation of Vultures and
d) Practitioners of traditional medicine with a bid to stop the unsustainable and unverifiable uses of vultures in traditional medicines and totems.