This is a blog about vultures in Djibouti. Please feel free to comment. You can click on the images and they will open up larger in a new window and be easier to see. Also, you can translate the text by using the translate gadget on the right side of this blog.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Assamo and pylons

Assamo spent the first half of June in southern Djibouti, mostly around the town of 'Ali Sabieh (see map below).  If you look back at past posts you will see that he has been here for about a month now, and had visited here earlier in the year.  Although he is in the same general area, it seems Assamo is no longer the commuter he was during the end of May.

Assamo's locations during 1-14 June 2013

During this period Assamo spent much of his time on power pylons along the N1 road north of 'Ali Sabieh.  Have a look at the two images below and you can see the pylons on which Assamo roosted.  This highlights a problem that vultures and other birds face: Electrocution.  Electrocution can be a significant cause of mortality, especially for large soaring birds.  Some pylons designs are more dangerous than others and most of the ones we saw in Djibouti seem to be relatively benign.  Indeed, the pylons in these images appear to be large enough so that electrocution is unlikely.

Here is a link to a report from Bulgaria about an Egyptian vulture electrocuted there, and here is one thing the Bulgarian Society for Protection of Birds is doing about it.  Still, if you want to read more about this problem, try to dig out this reference:

Angelov, I., Hashim, I., and Oppel, S. 2012.  Persistent electrocution mortality of Egyptian vultures Neophron percnopterus over 28 years in East Africa. Bird Conservation International 1-6.
Some of Assamo's locations on electricity pylons.
Some more of Assam's locations on an electricity pylon in southern Djibouti.

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