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The vultures are circling

by Darren

Literally, over a carcass waiting for their chance to feed. As with many of the creatures that I like, the vulture isn’t popular due to its (well-deserved) reputation as a scavenger and as such its close connection with death. Vultures play a vital role in the savannah and are vital in pointing towards the health of the eco-system. The fewer vultures the more unhealthy the environment.

Vultures, along with the equally unloved hyena, strip the carcasses of dead animals which have been abandoned by their original predator and reduce the spread of disease protecting both the wild animals of the Masai Mara (where this image was taken) and the farm animals in the surrounding areas. Unfortunately in 2007 the this particular vulture (African White Backed) has moved from the IUCN’s list of species which are of Least Concern, to Near Threatened with a massive drop in their numbers.

Not all creatures can be attractive or cute but there are few which don’t play a role in our delicate environment, and none which don’t deserve to be protected.

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