Vultures are one of nature’s most critical scavengers, but their populations have declined by at least 80% in just 50 years. As a matter of fact, poisoning accounts for 61% of vulture deaths in Africa, according to BirdLife International statistics with seven of the eleven vulture species currently being on the verge of extinction. The Ruppell’s and White-headed vulture species appear to be the most affected, with losses of 97% and 96% in the previous 50 years, respectively. Egyptian vulture and White-backed vulture populations have decreased by 90% and 92% respectively, while Hooded, Lappet-faced, and Bearded vultures have also declined by 83 and 70%, respectively.
In Kenya, vultures are the most poisoned wildlife species with a reported number of 775 vultures between 2000 and 2020 according to Data from Africa Wildlife Poisoning.
While poisoning remains a major concern to vulture survival in Kenya, the country through a partnership with various private stakeholders such as Nature Kenya has implemented plans in the Masai Mara, such as the creation of fast reaction procedures to reduce vulture death when an incidence occurs.
Predator-proof bomas have also been erected in the Mara and Laikipia respectively to decrease incidences of human-wildlife conflict and poisoning.
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