Vulture Tagging

In addition to establishing Vulture Safe Zones, BWZ teamed-up with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) to collect data on Vulture movements. Since August 2017, a combined team from DNPW, BWZ, EWT and private farm owners have tagged Vultures and fitted them with wing tags, rings and GSM tracking unit tags. The wing tags used are bright green in color with coding from the 2017 session ranging from Z027 to Z030. A follow-up effort was undertaken in August 2018, within Chisamba IBA, during which an additional 9 vultures; Z001 to Z009 were tagged and fitted with tracking units. The team will continue the tagging post the breeding season; starting from August.

https://www.birdlife.org/africa/news/birdwatch-zambia-collects-data-about-vulture-movements

A follow-up effort was undertaken in August 2018, within Chisamba IBA, during which an additional 9 vultures; Z001 to Z009 were tagged with Z006 – Z009 being fitted with tracking units in addition to the tags.

It is always exciting to get re-sighting reports on our well-travelled tagged Vultures, from conservation partners as well as individual people in different parts of the country and beyond. We have been lucky to receive information from various organizations and people concerning the whereabouts of these Vultures, especially those that do not have tracking units or those that cannot transmit because they are outside coverage area.

Vulture tagging is an important conservation effort that is being implemented by a combined team of conservationists. It is a vital way of obtaining information on movements, habitat range and the distance travelled by Vultures. It also helps understand the routes these birds take, the areas they forage in, their rousting spots and also their survival rate.

Looking at the data in the tracking maps, the birds are spending time in different IBAs such as Kafue flats, Luano, Chisamba and different private farms such Mkushi, Palabana area and Chisamba.  They are also seen spending time in Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe and even as adventurous as moving southwest to the Zambezi-province of Namibia and northern Botswana.

Acknowledgements

We are very grateful to Dr Ralph Buij (Wageningen University – Netherlands) who donated GSM units and wildlife computers (US) who provided the satellite units. Special gratitude also goes to the Raptor Research Foundation – Leslie Brown Foundation, Hawk Conservancy Trust, Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Maxplanck Institute for the additional support rendered to sustain these activities.

HOW TO REPORT VULTURE SIGHTINGS

Please make note of the location and time of the sighting, tag number and colour, and species, as well as any information on the behavior of the animal. Photographs are also welcome. Send the information to bwz.vultures@gmail.com

We look forward to more information on movements and re-sighting of these well-toured birds!!!

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