Target: Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa
Goal: Stop poachers and farmers from killing vultures and driving them to extinction.
The vulture population in Africa is declining dramatically because farmers are poisoning them when they lace carcasses with pesticides and other toxic chemicals to deter hyenas and lions. In addition to this, poachers are killing vultures so that they do not attract attention when said poachers kill rhinos or elephants illegally.
Vultures are also killed for their various parts and their role in traditional medicine. Many believe that parts of vultures bring good luck and vulture meat is eaten in many African countries. Smoked vulture meat in particular is heavily trafficked internationally.
Vultures are incredibly important to the environment and provide valuable services to Africa. Not only to they remove a large amount of waste that is produced in towns scattered along the Horn of Africa, but they also keep the feral dog population down and reduce the prevalence of diseases such as rabies.
Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN’s) have been gathering data and studying the rapid decline of vultures in Africa, and the situation is dire but not irrecoverable. However, the declines are severe enough that many conservationists believe that vultures should be classified as “critically endangered.”
We can still turn the vulture population around. Please sign the petition below to urge Africa’s government to better regulate pesticides and other poisons so that vultures can be protected.
Dear President Zuma,
I am writing to you because of my concern over the African vulture’s future. Vulture populations are rapidly declining in Africa because farmers are poisoning them in their attempts to kill hyenas and lions. Additionally, poachers kill them so that they do not attract attention to their illegal killing of rhinos and elephants.
We can help the African vulture by better regulating pesticides and poisons that farmers use. We can also appeal to list the African vulture as “critically endangered” rather than “vulnerable.” It is clear that, at this stage, the vulture is in dire jeopardy and their populations need to be restored.
Vultures play such a vital role in keeping diseases away and keeping the feral dog population down. They are more important than people realize and we need to do our part to protect them. Please do your part to help save the African vulture from its rapid decline.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Thermos