Protected areas in Africa are too small to safeguard rapidly declining vulture populations

Vultures perform important ecosystem functions as they clean the landscape by eating carcasses and thus limit the spread of wildlife diseases. Yet, vulture populations are rapidly declining, mainly owing to poisoning. Against this background, an international team of scientists performed the first comprehensive comparative analysis of movement data of three species of threatened Gyps vultures across Africa. They found that individual home ranges can be as large as 75,000 km² and thus significantly exceed existing protected areas. These results are published in the journal “Biological Conservation”. Clearly, larger “Vulture Safe Zones” need to be established to safeguard vulture populations.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft