Cape Vulture at De Hoop Nature Reserve (Part 2)

Threatening the Cape Vulture

The Cape Vulture threat 

Being endemic to South Africa, the Cape Vulture faces multiple challenges in survival.  It is the human influence that places these birds on the list of endangered species. Here are three main threats to the Cape Vulture’s survival: 

Cultural Threats 

Some traditional cultures believe that the brain of the Cape Vulture carries medical healing powers, or the power to see in the future.  This stems from the ability of the Cape Vulture that allows them to find a carcass almost immediately after death. Traditional healers believe this means that the vulture has some sort of power that allows them to see into the future. By consuming the brain, they believe they will gain the ability to do the same.  Traditional Healers also sell it, liquid or dry, to their clients. 

Poaching 

In areas where rhinos, elephants and other wildlife are being killed, poachers will poison the Cape Vulture, killing them.  They do this to prevent Wildlife Rangers from following the Cape Vulture and finding their poaching sites. 

Power lines and wind turbines 

Power lines and wind turbines are a major threat and deadly to not only Cape Vultures, but any bird. These structures either injure or kill our birds, especially Cape Vultures who seek altitude. 

A lot has been done over the last decade to improve the dwindling numbers of the endangered Cape Vulture species.  It is through conservation efforts, like at De Hoop Collection Nature Reserve, that these birds have survived. With more than 260 species of birds, De Hoop Collection Nature Reserve is a nature enthusiast’s paradise.  Grab your binoculars and discover the beauty of nature in its purest form.

View the De Hoop Collection

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