We did a lot of work on Vulture education over the last year, and are thrilled at how popular and successful it has been.  It started with VulPro in South Africa, helping to get their conservation message into schools and communities over a much wider area than they could reach alone.  Vulture populations across Africa are struggling, and it’s largely due to lack of information, and misperceptions.  Popular culture worldwide tends to attribute rather negative traits to vultures, which in reality are absolutely awesome, inspiring creatures.  Last year, thanks to work with VulPro and the Southern African Wildlife College, schools and community groups in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe enjoyed education programmes designed to engage, inspire, inform and change attitudes and behaviours towards vultures.  Children have been looking at vultures, observing, drawing, learning – learning fascinating facts, and busting myths about vultures!  Kids are writing poems, and drawing about what they now describe as these ‘magnificent creatures’.   We are printing more educational resources, 2000 of  a new edition of the Vulture booklet just received, educational banners and a new workbook are close to completion. This year we’ll we helping VulPro and SAWC educators work with more communities over an even wider area.  This includes schools close to two key Cape vulture nesting colonies in Limpopo Province in South Africa – one is the largest existing colony of this species.  We must protect it, and turning poachers into protectors is essential.

We are especially excited to have brought West African partners onboard, in an effort help their Hooded vultures.   Hooded vultures are suffering unprecedented persecution from spiritual and belief based killings. As well as using Vulture body parts to try and bring good luck, health or prosperity, people are killing them in a misguided belief that they are an ill-omen.  So, together with Michael Manga, Caka Karlsson and their team at Biota Conservation Hub Foundation we’ve updated the PACE Vulture resource, to give their species and conservation issues more visibility. Thanks to DHL’s generous support copies will be in their schools and communities this month.  Much to look forward to.

hooded vulture