After Chris Bowden’s two informative Guest Blogs on vultures (Asia vulture crisis and Africa and Europe) it is worth noting that the recent global reassessment of species’ status has resulted in six species of African vulture being assessed as more threatened than previously. In fact, four species, all of which I have seen, Hooded, White-backed, White-headed and Ruppell’s Vultures, are now listed as critically endangered.
Without being extinct, critically endangered is as bad as it can get. These four species are thought, each, to have a greater than 50% chance of going extinct in the wild in three generations (vulture generations).
This subject was also covered in a blog earlier this year (African vultures plummet in numbers, 18 June 2015). Poisoning is the main reason for the decline. the vultures are killed accidentally by baits put out to kill large mammals such as Lions and Spotted Hyaenas, or are deliberately targetted by poachers so that circling vultures do not give way the location of killed rhinos or African Elephants.