Happy International Vulture Day!

Vultures all around the world are experiencing rapid population decline — hunting, secondary poisoning from the livestock drug diclofenac (a large threat for vultures in the middle east and Asia), electrocution from power lines, and habitat loss, are all causes for decline.

International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) hopes to raise awareness about the need to conserve vultures across the globe.

Vultures are scavengers that feed on carrion and with this, they fill a very important ecological niche by keeping the environment clean. They also help to prevent the spread of diseases — their strong stomach acids allow them to consume diseased meat.

The vulture species is divided into two groups: New World Vultures; found in the Americas and Old World Vultures; found in Asia, Africa, and Europe. These two groups are not genetically related but have developed similar biological traits, as their form of scavenging for food.

Take a look at this wonderful map from Birdorable which you can download here,

Birdorable-vultures-of-the-world-map.

The only vulture species I’ve seen is the Turkey Vulture and I’ve been lucky enough to help wing tag them in 2012.

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4 thoughts on “Happy International Vulture Day!

  1. Wonderful map and great photos Charlotte, as well as great information. I always loved to see the turkey vultures here in Ontario, mostly in farm and cottage country floating on air currents as they searched for food. You probably know that vultures are the only birds that have a sense of smell which is one reason they are such successful “garbage” collectors.

  2. I don’t know much about bird tagging. Why do vultures get wing tags instead of leg tags? I appreciate your enthusiasm for birds. I just started observing the many birds that live in and migrate through areas near where I live in Calgary. I haven’t seen a vulture yet.

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