The Vulture multi-Species Action Plan – an ambitious but badly needed global action plan to improve the conservation status of 15 species of old world vultures, and in which the VCF has been participating, has passed another threshold, with the recent adoption of the draft plan by the CMS Scientific council of the Convention for migratory Species (CMS) that has met in Bonn between the 10th to 13th July. The CMS scientific council (see photo below) has recommended the vulture MSAP for adoption in 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties, that will be held in Manila in October.
Further, the scientific council has accepted the proposals to add 10 species of old-world vultures (5 African, 4 Asian & Lappet-faced Vultures) to the CMS Appendix I.
The Final Draft of the multi-Species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP) is now available online, here .
The International Vulture multi-Species Action Plan, that the VCF, BirdLife International, and the IUCN Vulture Specialist Group developed under a contract from the Coordinating Unit of the Raptors MoU under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), aims to prevent the further decline of vultures which are nature’s primary scavengers, providing indispensable ecological services as carrion feeders and disposers of disease-carrying carcasses.
A single international action plan covering multiple species that occur in more than 120 countries is a new approach, which will complement and build upon existing conservation initiatives. This umbrella strategy for scavengers facing the same threats and using the same habitats is required to promote a major step-change in the conservation efforts for this spectacular group of birds.
Following population declines of 95 per cent in Africa and Asia in recent decades, most vulture species in Africa, Asia and Europe are now threatened with extinction. The plan covers 15 species of Old World Vultures extending to 124 range countries, and has been developed in cooperation with 250+ experts in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
The draft plan includes the most up-to-date population status reports of the species and a detailed analysis of the threats that are affecting these important birds. In India, vultures are poisoned by diclofenac used for veterinary purposes, while in Africa the scavengers are intentionally targeted by poachers to cover up their activities so the authorities are not alerted to the location of their crimes. Some birds are also poisoned for their body parts to be used in witchcraft. In Europe poison, electrocution at power poles and collisions with power infrastructure, including wind farms are still major threats. The Action Plan includes solutions to address the most imminent threats and aims to promote a step-change in collaborative international vulture conservation efforts.