Earlier this week we reported on the latest mass poisoning of vultures in Kenya. Very sad to report another one, this time in Zimbabwe: one lioness and 41 White-backed Vultures were found dead on the Zimbabwean side of the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area.
Reports from the ground suggest that a disgruntled cattle farmer used poison to kill the lions.
The plight of African vultures has reached the international conservation agenda, with several species declining rapidly, up to the point that the IUCN decided recently to downgrade the conservations status of 6 species, including 4 that became now critically endangered, among which the African white-backed vulture.
One of the main factors leading to this decline is the widespread use of poison in the African continent, against predators, or sometimes used by poachers. In the last few years many cases of massive poisoning of vultures have been reported, mostly in eastern and southern Africa.
Photos: Touran Reddaway