Friday, 21 October 2011

Vultures visit poisoned bushpig at Umtamvuna

This from Roger Uys of KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife

While at Umtamvuna Nature Reserve doing a  survey of the baboons, during the last week of September, KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife field staff came across up to seven vultures hanging around a carcass. Upon closer inspection they found four bushpig, a jackal and a genet along with bananas with black granules on. The SAPS was called out, the presence of Temmik identified and a case opened. Thankfully, the vultures had not opened the carcasses by the time Ezemvelo staff discovered them and they were burnt the next morning. This said, the last baboon survey done in the protected area in 2000 counted 250 baboons, while we only recorded 142. While this may be due to the method used (we're testing other methods to check our figures), the use of poisons in the district may account for this decline which amounts to 10 baboons per year. It may also account for the absence of vultures in the protected area despite more than adequate roosting sites. Once again this raises the need to maintain a fully functional vulture restaurant at Oribi Gorge to help prevent such occurrences.

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