The Cape Vulture is found nowhere else in the world and is now classified as “vulnerable” with numbers declining and only six big breeding colonies left in South Africa. It was therefore with great delight that three Cape Vultures have been spotted over Samara in the last few weeks.
This magnificent birds were found in the Karoo in great numbers many years ago. Due to various detrimental environmental factors, they have been absent for a long time. However, these sightings are very encouraging as it proves that the ecology is becoming more balanced.
Vultures spend many hours on the wing each day searching for food. They have an aerial communication network between birds from the same flock and all keep an eye out for likely sources of food using their incredible eye-sight which is approximately eight times better than a human’s eye-sight.
Known as nature’s “clean-up crew”, a feeding frenzy usually ensues at a carcass where competition is fierce – a carcass can be stripped by a flock of vultures in a matter of minutes.
It is believed that they mate for life. The male and female are instrumental in building the nest and the female only lays one egg. It is sad to note that less than 65% of these chicks survive to adulthood.
Cape Vultures are an integral and very important part of the food chain and despite the myths about them, are worthy of our respect and protection.
If you would like more information or to see the Cape Vultures in action please call 0044 1227 753180 or visit the Samara Private Game Reserve website: http://www.samara.co.za/