By Julia Pierini, photography by Martin Taylor
We humans are drawn by a primordial need to be a part of Africa: its landscapes, its biodiversity. The roar of a lion, the whooping call of hyenas at night, the sight of elephant lumbering silently through the bush resonate deep within our souls. It`s undeniable. Vultures are also an intrinsic part of this charismatic African ecosystem.
Unfortunately recent data has indicated widespread decline in vulture populations throughout Africa. Although dwindling numbers of carnivorous vertebrates and other vulnerable species with large area requirements have been reported around the globe in recent years, the concurrent decimation of vultures in Africa is unprecedented, and has the potential for very important implications for disease transmission and human health.
The critical ecological role vultures play as scavengers is being disrupted by several factors. Unintentional and direct poisoning from veterinary and other toxic drugs related to problem animal control is one cause. Elephant and rhino poaching is playing a role, as is the change is land use from pastoralism and wildlife to cultivation and urban development resulting in habitat degradation, scarcity of food and nesting sites…
© Photographs by Martin Taylor. All rights reserved