I have no way of verifying the figures, but there has been con siderable discussion of this among conservationists and hunting operators in the refion over the past 2 days. KS
Devastating breaking news – more than 500 vultures poisoned on some poached elephants close to the Bots/Zim border. Yes that is correct 500 dead vultures – one incident!
This is arguably the worst environmental disaster to hit Africa this whole year – certainly from a birding point of view, as 5 CRITICALLY ENDANGERED species get wiped out in huge numbers – the kind of event that is set to finish off the last of the true wild areas on this continent! The kind of event that needs to be understood and dealt with, so we can find solutions to prevent this sort of heinous crime from happening ever again.
Of late, findings are emerging how elephant poaching is on the rise across the whole KAZA area – hundreds and hundreds are being poached every year and in Zimbabwe alone reports are that more than 10 000 have been poached in the Zambezi valley area (and to the south) over the last decade or so – but hardly anyone knows about it and as they wipe out some areas, they move on to easier targets.
We still refer to this whole KAZA area as having the largest elephant population in Africa – but for how long? At this rate 50 000 elephants will be poached before people notice – mark our words, something serious needs to be done otherwise we will see total decimation of the population in the next few years, perhaps 10 years.
We call upon authorities to catch these perpetrators and give them the highest sentence possible. This is not a mere crime, this is destroying our planet to such an extent that not only the biodiversity of an area is under immense threat, but also the future livelihood of people who rely on tourism for example – it is key they face the full wrath of the law.
We are also wanting to know where the likes of the 30 million Euros are going from the EU to sponsor this KAZA initiative? How will funds be directed to stop this sort of event happening? – we need cross border relations improved and eradicate this scum that is taking over the area. We also need cooperation from various scientists and relevant stakeholders to work on the problem together – not to fight one another to suit their political agendas while allowing wildlife to be the ultimate losers. It is time to make a positive difference everyone!
It is also time for other stakeholders to get involved here – photographic safaris and future hunting outfitters need to be part of the solution here otherwise its a slippery slope for all.
We ask that those who have read this that you consider donating to the excellent NGO – Vulpro. They single handedly do so much to save vulture lives and find ways of improving their chances of survival in an increasingly inhabitable region. They will go the extra mile, driving across countries to save one bird – can you imagine how they feel when one selfish ivory poacher kills 500 in one go?
The info below was copied from their page – thanks for raising such important issues so we can all come together and not criticize but rather help to find solutions to these huge problems:
“Final figures are in regarding the Botswana vulture poisoning and it is gut wrenching. I have been requested to keep the specifics quiet but the total is 537. Five critically and endangered vulture species affected and all from 10 per species and upwards. This is one of the biggest knocks to vultures in our history. Also, it is breeding season so many are adults which means not only are they directly affected but their eggs/chicks have died too and as vultures are monogamous, we have lost those breeding pairs to the wild populations. Guys and Gals, this is very real and without intervention, we will lose our vultures. VulPro has never before been more important and the captive work we do with associated benefits to the wild birds is imperative to their survival. Please spread this message and support our work. We are working with the guys in Zimbabwe and Botswana and we are working towards VulPro associated facilities in those countries through existing NGOs already working in those country. Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust is just one of them and they are doing amazing work. Together, we have a fighting chance but we need your support”
Note: these images are from a similar event where more than 100 died, not from this weeks 500+ which have perished.