The decline in Egyptian vulture numbers is among the most rapid globally. The survival of the white-plumed sage in our present is a real ordeal. Human activity changes the environment and poses many risks for the survival of the vultures. Reasons for the high death-rate of the globally threatened species are found in their nesting territories as well as along their migration routes and in the wintering sites. Poisoning is among the greatest culprits for dead vultures. Adults and young birds alike can take poisoned or contaminated food. Another problem arises from the consummation of livestock carcasses which are treated with antibiotics. In this case the immune system of the birds weakens and they become liable to a variety of diseases.
Photo: Torsten Prohl
Poaching – in the form of killing birds or stealing eggs from their nests – is also among the main reasons for the decline in the population of the species. When disturbed by humans close by the nest, the parents leave the eggs unprotected for a long time; this can prove fatal for the unhatched young. Another threat lies in the unprotected poles of the electricity network. The threats along the migration routes as well as in the vultures’ wintering sites are basically identical with those in their nesting territories but further research is needed for the planning of precise measures for the effective protection and conservation of the species.