Cape Vulture facts blog post

The older child is on a hike around the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. I’ve never been there but the brochure looks nice. The younger child did an advancement programme with Cubs this morning and so we’ve been working on knots, bird feeders, water filters and conservation stuff all afternoon.

Part of the work was to learn about two endangered species, and she stayed local with African Penguins and Cape Vultures. I knew a bit about each, and was able to supply images to complement her fact sheets.

The Cape Vulture has additional issues with conservation because it’s really not cute or cuddly like a penguin or a nifler. Nor is it bold and iconic like a rhino. The guy above looks like some English thug whose beer you’ve just spilled in a dodgy pub in deepest urban Essex.

This will not end well for the pint, you or the vulture.

Cape vultures are critically endangered, mainly due to… well… humans.

Loss of habitat, electrocution on pylons or collision with cables and unintentional poisoning.

Add in a few wind farms and you might be forgiven for thinking that we’re actually trying to wipe these magnificent birds out. Crazy.

There are moments of good news. Vulpro is an organisation working to try and save the last of the Cape Vultures in South Africa. And they’re doing a reasonable job too, despite the difficult conditions.

Junior presents her findings on the penguins and vultures to her pack on Friday evening, hopefully setting the wheels in motion for some of the next generation to work to preserve our natural heritage.