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Status and Conservation of wintering Egyptian

Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) in Ethiopia

Yilma D Abebe
Ethiopian Wildlife & Natural History Society
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
7th July 2015
Sofia, Bulgaria

Outline of presentation
• What we know
– Sites
– Numbers
– Trends
– Threats
• What we don’t know (Gaps in Knowledge)
• Urgent Conservation Actions

BV. WBV. GV. LFV) vulture spp in Ethiopia. Status and Trends • The Egyptian Vulture is one of eight (HV. WHV. . RV.

. • While this species has been considered a common to frequent species in the country in the past this trend may not be the case today. What we know • Despite its importance. we know very little about the wintering population of EV in Eth. • EV has a resident and wintering population in the country.

.• EV appear to associate closely with human habitations inhabiting a broad habitat type from sea level to 2500 m asl.

Sites • The arid Afar Region in northeastern Ethiopia evidently forms the optimum habitat for migrating forms. .

Ethiopia holds approx. 3% of the global population of EV. Numbers • According to Birdlife International. • . • Counts conducted in the past show that there has been a gradual decline in numbers.

1473 birds over 75 km of power lines. Numbers • 1996 (Sigismondi and Politano) . • December 2009 – 1424 birds • December 2010 – 1400 birds • January 2013 – 1082 birds • In many regards the results after 2000 are not really comparable to the one in 1996. .

. • Even these counts show a gradual decrease if they reflect a true picture of what is happening on the ground. • A better comparison exists for counts between 2009 – 2013. Numbers • Counts in 1996 resulted in high numbers in less than a 100 km transect while recent counts had to cover more ground for nearly a similar effect.

. Numbers and Trends • On the other hand the absolute numbers seen may not reflect a true decrease but a limited sampling effort that may well be adjusted with more surveys. • Arkumarev et al describe that if more area were covered (beyond road-based transects). it is probable that more birds could have been counted.

• This bird is known in the highlands of the country where it nests in cliff faces and gorges. . there is no doubt that numbers of migratingNumbers EV have fallenand Trends drastically since the mid 90s in Ethiopia.• All things being equal.

What we don’t really know .

Threats • Electrocution and Collision • Food shortage? • Competition? • Poisoning? • Persecution? .

• But numbers are going down from year to year. • How much of these birds are we losing every year to one or another reason? • Do they mainly die in wintering grounds or elsewhere? . EV death and their reasons • We have not seen mass die off of EV in Afar or elsewhere in Ethiopia.

What are their limiting factors? More succinctly: What are the requirements of a wintering population of EV in Ethiopia? • Roosting sites? • Food? • Competition from similar sized vultures? Hoodeds maybe? .

Urgent Measures • Research and regular monitoring .

Urgent measures • Community awareness creation .

Urgent Measures • Conservation – with a human face .

Urgent measures. wildlife and archeology .Tourism • Afar Region has various tourist attractions including nature.

It will also ensure conservation of the species as long as it acts as a central piece of attraction. Stationing vulture restaurants specifically for the benefit of the EV and tourists .Tourism • Ethiopia hosting one of the largest population of EV in the region. • Ecotourism can act as a vehicle to support a sustained income generation to achieve interest and commitment in local people. it could perhaps act as a positive income generator. • e. Urgent measures.g.

a national species action plan that outlines the status. problems and solutions for both resident and migratory forms of the species is very important. • Beyond uplisting. .Urgent measures Government legislation • Ethiopian Government through its Ministry of Environment and Forest attempt to uplist EV (other vulture species as well) to on the national endangered list.

Thank you!! .