Vulture Conservation
In recent times vultures have seen a marked decline of many species. Poaching of these iconic birds through mass poisoning has led to major die offs throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, power lines are also a key factor in the loss of many birds. Losses of vultures increases the spread of diseases such as rabies and anthrax which can have devastating effects on other wildlife species. This year VFWT will be working to conserve vultures in many ways. We are in the process of trying to raise the funds to improve our rehabilitation aviary for vultures. We are also fortunate to have "Judge" a white backed vulture that came in as a rescue case that cannot fly. Judge is in training to be an ambassador vulture. A key part to conserving these magnificent birds it to determine population numbers of each indigenous species. Therefore we aim to work with other local stakeholders to conduct a population survey on all of the species present in North West Zimbabwe. Finally, in an effort to try and improve conservation of vultures, the conservation education program that VFWT hosts weekly, will have a major focus on vultures this year, including new booklets highlighting the plight of these birds.

 
"Judge" The Vulture Ambassador      
In late December 2013 a white backed vulture fledgling was brought to VFWT's facilities, it was very ill and unable to fly. Slowly we were able to improve the bird's health and get it to both eat and drink on its own. Unfortunately its wing was severely deformed. It is suspected the injury was a result of a collision. The vulture (now called "Judge") will never be able to fly. Therefore VFWT agreed to look after Judge for the remainder of his life. Judge loves to be around people and enjoys keeping an eye on what is happening around VFWT. He is exercised daily and in training to be an ambassador for vultures with our conservation education program.
   
Vulture Rehabilitation      
Recent increases of poisoning incidents and human developments such as power lines has led to many sick and injured vultures in the area. VFWT are in the process of trying to build a permanent aviary facility to be able to accommodate these iconic birds when they come in for rehabilitation. The goal is to be able to return the rehabilitated birds back to the wild whenever possible. However, VFWT hopes to establish a long term care facility to handle these cases.
   
Vulture Research      

It is widely recognized that with all of the recent incidents that vultures have been affected. To what extent their populations are declining is a major question. VFWT aims to undertake a population survey in North West Zimbabwe of vulture nesting sites, numbers and species during breeding season later this year. This information will help us work with local stakeholders to make conservation management decisions on how to improve the conservation status of vultures in the region.

In addition to the population survey, VFWT working together with South African NPO VulPro, has initiated a project to monitor the spatial movements of vultures. As these magnificent birds travel over large distances in conservation areas, they are sentinels for poaching, disease and play an important role in biodiversity. If you would like to help us conserve this amazing animals, you can do so by sponsoring a solar tracking unit. Each unit will be fitted on a bird and the movements of this animal will be closely monitored. One unit runs at approximately USD $3500. If you would like to sponsor a unit please click on the Donate button at the top of the page.

   
Conservation Education      
If we are to be successful in conserving vultures, discussing the problems vulture populations are facing with people is vital to their long-term conservation. Therefore VFWT has made it a key focus of the conservation education program we run for local school children. A booklet is being developed that every child can take home which will discuss the benefits of wildlife and the role vultures play in the ecosystem. The booklet will highlight the decline of vultures due to poisoning and poaching and offer a hotline for people to phone if they know of any sick or injured vultures. VFWT thank the Mzuri Wildlife Foundation for their funding of this program and valuable booklet.