Captive large predators killing vultures: exposing captive facilities as an additional source of mortality to highly threatened birds

Lindy J. Thompson, John P. Davies, Gareth Tate, Colleen T. Downs
2020 Bothalia: African Biodiversity & Conservation  
and objective: African vultures are under pressure from various, well-known anthropogenic threats. Here we describe and aim to highlight a littleknown source of mortality to two Critically Endangered vulture species (Gyps africanus and Necrosyrtes monachus), as well as the Endangered Cape Vulture (Gyps copropheres) in southern Africa – that of captive big cats killing vultures that land in their enclosures to feed on food scraps or faeces or to bathe in drinking water. Methods: Personal
more » ... s: Personal observations, reports from public, interviews with current and former staff from predator parks and lion hunting ranches. Discussion: While the spatial and numerical extent of this mortality has not yet been quantified, if it is found to be widespread then failure to address it may present a risk to the regions' vulture populations. Conclusion: We encourage captive breeding facilities and regulatory authorities to take appropriate action to prevent free-roaming vultures from coming into contact with captive big cats, and we highlight the need for further research to determine the spatial extent and magnitude of this threat to African vultures.
doi:10.38201/ fatcat:swlylo4m7rfzpb2nz6wci7x2r4