In the context of several vulture species being uplisted to endangered or critically endangered, one of the big threats to vulture survival is power line collisions.
According to Kerrie Wolter of Vulpro, there are approximately 300 powerline vulture fatalities per year, making power lines one of the major mortality factors with vultures, causing electrocutions and collisions.
Vultures face numerous problems due to man’s intervention and the farmer can work towards mitigating these. Below are some tips on what to do when you find a vulture in a fragile state due to a power line collision or other threat:
- If a bird crashes into a power line on your farm and is seriously injured, contact VulPro immediately and then handle the bird with care and keep it somewhere safe and confined until VulPro can get there.
- If a farmer can make powerlines on his farm safe himself, it is best to contact VulPro and they can then communicate directly with Eskom.
- Power lines can be made safer either by changing the structure to bird friendly status or insulating sleeves over insulators and then spirals or flappers to make the lines more visible.
- Farmers can also establish a vulture restaurant where these birds are able to access a reasonably constant supply of food. This is known as a supplementary feeding site for these birds.
Most farmers work close to the environment and depend on the environment for food production. Vultures, as part of this environment, play an important role in farm management. –Vulpro