Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Juvenile Cape vulture 'Marie' confirmed electrocuted

Over the last few days it was noticed that 'Marie' seemed to be pretty static, only making short movements of 20m or so. The transmitters can play up sometimes, but a closer inspection of the site on Google Earth (image attached) revealed what looks like an electric pylon directly where 'Marie' stopped.
She was captured on 12th February as a newly fledged juvenile and left the colony on the 26th February.

Area where 'Marie' stopped moving.
An Electric Pylon can clearly be seen.
(Image Google Earth)

Sadly we have to report that the carcass of 'Marie' was found today under an electric pylon in the Colenso area. Electrocution was the cause of death.
Unfortunately, another carcass of an unidentified Cape vulture was also discovered under the same pylon.

'Marie's' transmitter
(Frik Lemmer)

This is very tragic news and very worrying that juvenile mortality rates appear to be very high.
Photographs are being taken and the situation will be followed up by the Wildlife & Energy Programme of the Endangered Wildlife Trust.
A huge thanks goes to Frik Lemmer, from KZN Wildlife, for going out to the site for the Marburg University.

'Marie' launches after being fitted with her transmitter
(Photo Andy Ruffle)

Photos copyright of photographer

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