Saturday, 23 June 2012

Cape Vulture count at Oribi

Text and photos by Andy Ruffle

Andrew & Mike survey the cliffs,
whilst Roger Uys from KZN Wildlife scribes

On Saturday 23rd June, Andrew Pickles and I joined Mike Neethling for the initial census of this season's nesting activity at the Oribi Cape Vulture breeding colony.
46 nests with adult birds sitting were identified, up from 41 last year. This is a healthy 12% increase, which is a very positive sign considering the general status of this vulture - see the map below. The colony size can now be estimated at around 110 birds, when you take into account that generally 80% of the colony will breed.
Mike reports that during the 12 month period from June 2011 to May 2012, 52 carcasses had been laid at the vulture restaurant, which could well explain the increase in breeding activity.
During the SABAP1, the Cape Vulture population was estimated at 12,000 birds. The latest estimate takes this down to 8,000-10,000 birds.
Mike's colony is therefore very significant and the work he is doing with the restaurant, even more significant. Thanks to people like Mike, we may just be able to save this incredible bird.

Cape Vulture distribution comparison SABAP1 to SABAP2
(Image courtsey of ADU)


  1. Miss Yegas Naidoo25 June 2012 at 14:41

    Pleased to have had the opportunity to view these magnificent birds close-up !

  2. Utterly magnificent to see the good work and that the number of vultures are increasing. Will support the vulture project+++. Lennart