|I saw this hooded vulture in Tarangire this weekend, so they are still around!|
|Changes in Egyptian Vulture distribution (after accounting for observer effort) from 1980/1990s to 2000s.|
Red are where the change has been observed, black is where the models fill in observer gaps.
|Juvenile Egyptian Vulture (note tail shape) on the Mara River,|
only recent evidence of breeding in TZ Sep 2011
In the Maasai Mara, studies are suggesting around 60% decline in vulture numbers, whilst in South Africa and west Africa the problem is even greater, with near total loss of vultures in many areas. Monitoring in Tanzania isn't our strongest point, but the data that the Tanzanian bird atlas have produced show some obvious patterns here too. Look at these maps above I generated today of Egyptian Vulture, for example, showing the changes between the earlier records from 1970 and 1980s to post 2000 records. It's clear that until 1980 you had a chance of seeing this species across much of northern Tanzania. Since 2000 you've only really stood any chance at all in the Serengeti Ecosystem, and to be honest more recently it's extremely rare, with just a handful of records each year from this area. Whilst this is far and away the most extreme decline, my analysis today suggests there's also something happening with Ruppell's and White-backed in Tanzania, so we shouldn't be complacent.
|Ruppell's Vulture, Serengeti, Sep 2011|
|Lappet-faced Vulture, Serengeti, Sep 2011|
Virani, M., Kendall, C., Njoroge, P., & Thomsett, S. (2011). Major declines in the abundance of vultures and other scavenging raptors in and around the Masai Mara ecosystem, Kenya Biological Conservation, 144 (2), 746-752 DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2010.10.024