Saving the Vultures of the Maloti-Drakensberg

At Oaklands, we’re firm believers in the saying birds of a feather flock together. You love birds. We love birds. Let’s join up and support the bird-loving initiative Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project.

The Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project

We mean, really, our feathered friends inspired the popular expression. Now is a better time than ever to return the favour? Especially in the Drakensberg, where a host of bird species are currently endangered. And luckily, initiatives like the Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project are making getting involved a little bit easier.
Established in 2000, the Vulture Project was started as means of monitoring the endangered and critically endangered Cape and Bearded Vultures inhabiting the Maloti-Drakensberg. The findings made it clear that more was required than mere observation. Strategies needed to be put in place to alleviate the threats to these species. Strategies that not only protect, but predict their breeding behaviours so that successful recovery systems can be introduced.

What’s the Threat?

You probably were able to answer that question yourself and if you said humans, you answered right. And the threat we pose is three fold – poisoning, habitat loss, and food shortages. While poisoning is accidental – farmers lace carcasses with chemicals to get rid of problem scavengers like jackals – it is the result of negligence. In 2013, as many as 1440 vultures were killed. Habitat loss is a direct result of the erecting of electrical cables (that electrocute the birds) and infrastructure developments – the latter giving rise to food shortages, as well.

Support the Birding Cause

And support doesn’t necessarily mean monetary, but that is always welcome. Simply paying it forward by spreading awareness (like we’re doing with this article) can go a long way. Of course, if you’re short on social currency, there are plenty of other ways to get involved – like recording sightings when birdwatching. One of our favourites is vulture restaurants, which encourage farmers to donate livestock that is no longer fit for consumption.
Are you a likeminded bird-lover? Join us in spreading awareness about the amazing Maloti-Drakensberg Vulture Project.