They say vultures are ugly – What ugly? With that natural shave around that gorgeous long neck and sparsely populated teeny weeny perm on its head , you cannot possibly insult the dear vulture for such a unique appearance.
Well, on a more serious note, The BirdLife International’s Africa division has revealed that vultures in Africa are facing a rapid extinction. And what makes this decline disturbing is the fact that, though unknown to many, vultures help stop the spread of diseases by cleaning up rotting carcasses.
In an update of ‘Red List’s threatened species, The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN reported that, based on an assessment by its partner BirdLife, four African vulture species have become critically endangered, including the hooded vulture and the white-backed vulture, while two others are now considered endangered.
On how these birds have being wiped out – Newly improved odorless and tasteless rodenticides are the culprits. When rodents die from these rodenticides and are discarded, scavengers (vultures) consume their poisoned carcasses and die hours afterward.
This used not to be the case in the past as rodenticides used to come in very sharp and pungent smells. The strong scents thus deterred vultures from consuming them thus stayed safe of its effects.
Another factor that has contributed to this trend is the poaching of vultures for it parts for ritual purposes. And yet another factor in the extinction of Africa’s vultures is the depletion of forest vegetation which serves as their natural habitats.
These activities have left about half the continent’s 11 vulture species critically endangered as well as the six African species of the large scavenger birds had become more threatened by extinction now than a year earlier according to IUCN .
Of the five vulture species found in Africa, one had maintained its “endangered” status; and they are part of the 24 bird species worldwide classified as being either vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered, IUCN says.
This is the next problem that needs fixing ASAP and all efforts to save our dying nature must be employed to curb global warming and other problems associated with it. Let’s remember that, the last man dies when the last tree dies.