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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.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Assamo in late July 2013

In late July 2013, Assamo really did not move very far.  He spent the whole of the month within < 20 square km around the town of Adigala.  Does anyone know anything about this town? Does anyone visit it?  I suppose Assamo is perching on some power pylons to the north of town.  At some locations we have more than 15 individual fixes for him.  This suggests to me a favorite perch on a specific pylon.

Assamo's movements around the town of Adigala, Ethiopia in late July 2013.
Below is a zoomed out map, which shows just how small the area is that Assamo has been using, and its position relative to regional geography.

Assamo's locations in late July 2013 as seen at a regional scale.
 The Egyptian vulture is a globally endangered species, and huge declines in the population have been seen over the past 50 years or so.  Despite this, and the instances of human related deaths we have talked about in other blog posts, there are some stories of success that give us hope.  Here is a video about the release of a captive bred Egyptian vulture in Italy in 2005, and another release is scheduled for this month.  Good news is always welcome!

Sadly, in South Africa recently almost 50 vultures were found dead.  Click here to find out more.  The cause of death is suspected to be poisoning when they fed on poison-laced sheep carcasses, presumably laid to target jackals.  This incident highlights a number of things: vultures (and other animals) are being poisoned in large numbers, because of their foraging and feeding ecology large numbers of vultures can die at single poisoning events, and the number of adult vultures killed suggest a large impact on the population and its potential productivity because these species are normally long-lived and mature only after a number of years.

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