Governments and communities around the globe are increasingly interested in monitoring the local environment and wildlife. However, wicked problems like climate change, species extinction and pollution cannot be solved in isolation. As a result, countries are committing to multilateral environmental agreements.
However, when it comes to preserving wildlife, much of the world’s wildlife conservation efforts focus on saving impressive, large animals like rhinos and elephants or cute ones like pandas. So, what happens if a species is neither large, cute or cuddly?
Vultures are crucial to the environment. They are natural cleaners and prevent the spread of disease by consuming dead animals and recycling nutrients. Unfortunately, approximately half the world’s 23 vulture species are currently threatened with extinction.
Human-created issues affecting vultures include electrocution by power lines. In several parts of the world, vultures have been poisoned by eating dead livestock that had been given medicine that is harmful to the vultures. In addition, it is not uncommon for vultures to be killed by poachers wanting to keep their poaching locations a secret or by feeding on elephant carcasses poisoned by the poachers.
Despite African vulture populations rapidly declining, funding and other resources available for their conservation are limited. Improving our understanding of vultures’ important role in the ecosystem would help create awareness of the nearly extinct bird and help raise more funds to protect these endangered animals.
Taking the Big Step
Africa Albida Tourism developed a project called the Vulture Culture Experience in Harare, Zimbabwe, to provide supplementary food for vultures with the intent to sustain the lives of these birds.
Collaborating with VulProand the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust on this project, Africa Albida Toursm is dedicated to the project’s success. Every meal served at the Buffalo Bar and MaKuwa-Kuwa restaurant in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe includes a USD1 donation to vulture conservation.
Africa Albida Tourism operates the Vulture Culture Experience at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. The feeding programme aims at aiding the survival of these impressive birds while raising awareness of their plight. However, the programme does not intend to provide enough food to sustain them, so the vultures still scavenge for themselves.
Daily, visitors witness the spectacular sight of hundreds of vultures swooping down to feed on leftover meat scraps from the onsite restaurants in an educational activity that appeals to all age groups.
The Vulture Culture Experience provides a unique opportunity to view the astonishing sight of hundreds of vultures plunging to feed on leftover meat scraps from the onsite restaurants.
The Vulture Culture Experience starts at 1 pm daily at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. Guests have the opportunity to spot various vulture species, including; White-Backed Vultures, Hooded Vultures, Lappet-Faced Vultures, White-Headed Vulture, Cape Vultures and Egyptian Vultures. In addition, Marabou storks, tawny eagles and yellow-billed kites are regulars.