BirdLife: The Magazine September 2017 - Page 20

GOING SOUTH Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus. Photo Kdsphotos/Pixabay 5 WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT VULTURES Mass poisonings. Catastrophic and unprecedented population declines. The resultant spread of disease and death. You’re probably sick to the crop of hearing it by now, but it’s too important not to put this in perspective: across Asia, Africa and Europe, vultures are in serious trouble. And if effective action is not taken now, these threatened species will go extinct in our lifetimes. Simple as that. This would be disastrous for human health (and economies) too. This is why we’ve put together the latest spread of work that BirdLife and its Partners are doing across the three continents to save our so-ugly-they-are-beautiful and important disease-defeating vultures. We still need to continue to do much, much more to protect them, but the following positive developments are worth heralding now, as we urge governments to make an international commitment to an action plan to save them. The deadline: 2029 Shaun Hurrell SEPTEMBER 2017 • BIRDLIFE 21