The Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project was established in 2000 as part of a collaboration between Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Programme. The aims of the project are to revive the endangered Cape Vulture and critically endangered Bearded Vulture populations inhabiting the Maloti-Drakensberg region of South Africa and Lesotho.
The project has grown from initially monitoring these birds and their breeding territories, to include the implementation of various actions aimed at mitigating the threats to the species, as well as a more intensive monitoring programme which focuses on the breeding success at nest sites and the ranging behaviour of these birds. This is imperative, because the more information we have on these birds of prey, the more likely we are to be able to implement successful systems that will aid the recovery of these protected species.
The Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project, through the Bearded Vulture Task Force and the Cape Vulture Task Force of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, has begun to tag these vultures in the region with satellite transmitters in order to effectively gather this information. With these transmitters we are able to monitor movements, determine survival rates and ultimately unearth the reasons behind the high mortality rates.
The project places high priority on community engagement, and believes that educating farming communities and schools on the threats facing the vultures is a pivotal component in ensuring the species survival. Representatives from the programme work tirelessly to increase awareness on the important position that the vulture holds in the areas ecological system.
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