A rare white-headed vulture chick has hatched at the Hawk Conservancy Trust near Andover in Hampshire offering hope for the critically endangered species.
The new arrival may not look cute but the Trust says visitors to the bird of prey attraction can’t help but feel moved by the sight of father Angus and mother Satara caring for their infant. Mum and Dad share their duties equally and will continue to do so until the youngster is ready to leave the nest – hopefully in around 12 weeks’ time.
Native to Africa, the white-headed vulture has suffered a steep decline in decline in populations in the wild, mainly as a result of targeted poisoning associated with the ivory trade. Poachers are deliberately killing the birds to prevent gatherings above carcasses that alert authorities to potential illegal activities in the area. Hundreds of vultures can be killed at a single poisoned elephant carcass.
The Hawk Conservancy Trust is spearheading a Poison Response Action project, designed to train and equip people in the field with the knowledge, skills and essential equipment to clear poisoning incidents as quickly as possible, preventing further deaths of vultures and other wildlife.
Visitors to The Hawk Conservancy Trust can see several species of vulture in magnificent flying displays, meet them close-up and learn first-hand about the importance of their role in the world’s ecosystem. For more information go to www.hawk-conservancy.org
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