HAPPY INTERNATIONAL VULTURE AWARENESS DAY!!!
One of my favorite days of the year! I will be celebrating Vulture Awareness day at Tracy Aviary which I think is one of the best places to celebrate this day.
And of course, here is a feature of as many different vultures as I was able to find on DA.
Vultures include 2 groups, the New World (Americas) and Old World vultures (Europe, Africa and Asia). Old & New world vultures are not closely related, but they have evolved to fill similar niches. They are birds that specialize in eating animals that are already dead (save for the palm nut vulture). There are three species of vultures that are able to use the sense of smell to find food. These include the Turkey, Greater and Lesser yellow-headed vultures. The remaining use keen eyesight, or follow vultures that can smell carrion.
About half of the world's vultures are threatened with extinction. Threats to vultures include loss of habitat, conflicts with man or man made objects (power lines, win turbines, car strikes etc) and the biggest threat to vultures is poisoning either indirect or direct. Pesticides and lead poisoning is a big problem in the new world. The old world vultures have been wiped out due to indirect poisoning by eating a carcass that had been heavily treated with certain antibiotics, or a carnivore carcass that had been poisoned by locals to keep them from eating their livestock. The more direct method is used by poachers. Whenever poachers take out something big, like an elephant or a rhino, they will lace the body with poison that will kill any vulture that eats it. This is done so that the carcass doesn't become discovered by wildlife officials. Because of this, parts of the world have seen 80-99% declines in vultures. Some of the most abundant birds in the world were vulture species and have taken as much as a 90% population decline in only a few years.
There is some good news for vultures. Two people were caught and put in jail for carrying a few vulture carcasses that they obtained in order to sell them on the black market. Apparently it's a thing to eat vulture brains in order to gain fortune...yeah I duno. The decline in India is slowing, stopping and even reversing in some areas. And in the Americas, the state of California is voting on AB711, a bill that will ban all lead ammunition use. Lead poisoning is the main threat to California condors.
Vultures have evolved to eat rotting carcasses. A vultures stomach acid can kill off deadly bacteria/viruses such as anthrax, rabies, plague, and cholera. If vultures were to vanish, the world would be a much smellier and deadlier place.
So go out, and hug a vulture!!! Just make sure that when you hug it, its head is facing away from you so you aren't vomited on when you spook it with affection
And a huge thank you to :iconWishmasterAlchemist
: for filling out her stamps with the remaining vultures! They look awesome!!!
New World Vultures
Black Vulture (American)
Greater Yellow-headed Vulture
Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture There aren't very many pictures of these guys on DA!
Old World Vultures
Himalayan griffon vulture