Conducting Vulture Nest Surveys on Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

The significance of Vultures to the ecosystem is a well-known subject to everybody who has visited certainly one of our tasks – spend only a margin of time with our Wildlife ACT screens or managers, and also you’ll hear simply how essential Vultures are.

Picture by Wildlife ACT Advertising and Media Supervisor, Megan Whittington

As the continued threats to vulture populations proceed, the variety of nesting pairs inside the protected areas round us decline. In an try to grasp the decline higher, annual vulture nest surveys are carried out to watch the breeding success of Vulture nesting pairs which in flip is used to measure the well being of the native vulture populations.

Breeding season for many vulture species monitored in Zululand often lies between June and November – over which era our groups on the bottom begin to be on particular lookout for the pairs in common bushes. With only one egg laid per vulture pair, their problem continues – to make sure profitable rearing and fledging of their one-and-only offspring of the breeding season.

This yr, the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park Wildlife ACT monitoring groups are totally ready to tackle the “ground-truthing” nest survey, complementing the aerial surveys carried out yearly by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to assist the KZN Vulture Technique. The HiP group met with Anel, Wildlife ACT Vulture Programme Supervisor, to do some in-field workshopping to make sure the group is well-equipped to conduct profitable vulture nest surveys this yr.

To do these surveys, the groups use the GPS places acquired from the aerial survey, in addition to native information from HiP workers to scout and assess the nests from the bottom. At every nest, knowledge similar to Nest ID, Location, GPS bearing from the automobile to nest, Estimated distance from automobile to nest, Chook species, Tree species, Habitat kind, any anthropomorphic disturbance and its distance , Any elephant injury, Exercise of the particular nesting vulture, and any photographs are recorded.

All of this fine-scale knowledge collected from the varied nest websites throughout the breeding clusters, in the end assists in figuring out vulture breeding success charges and potential mortality causes. Additionally they help by giving precious perception to different essential info, which is able to contribute to deliberate analysis tasks, similar to tree choice, Elephant injury and some other potential threats.

Want our groups luck this season of vulture nest surveys!

Please think about supporting the Vulture Conservation Programme HERE.

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