International Vulture Awareness Day


On Septemer 2nd 2023, we celebrate International Vulture Awareness Day, where we honour these often-misunderstood aerial wonders. White-headed vultures are classified as "Critically Endangered" by the IUCN. At Noah’s Ark, we're proud to house White-headed vultures, who are vital members of the European Endangered Species Program. You can see our vultures in the aviary that they share with our African Crowned Cranes.

Vultures span five continents: North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. There are 23 species of vulture worldwide, broken down into two major families - Old World and New World. Old World originate from Europe, Asia and Africa whilst New World are from North and South America. They've independently evolved to play essential roles in local ecosystems. Vultures act as ecological superheroes, cleaning up carcasses and wielding powerful stomach acids that neutralise diseases like rabies and anthrax, helping to remove them from the food chain.

Despite their significance, 70% of the vulture species worldwide have declined by 99% in the past two decades, primarily due to poisoning. Hunters will often target vultures by poisoning carcasses, as they circle fresh kills which brings attention to illegal poaching activity. One poisoned carcass can kill hundreds of vultures, leading to devastating impacts on the ecosystem.


Breeding White-headed vultures can prove challenging due to their low egg production volume (typically laying just one egg per year). Our team is dedicated to promoting vulture conservation - both through breeding and raising awareness of their plight in the wild. The vultures at Noah’s Ark are ambassadors for their species, helping us to educate and inspire thousands of visitors each year about the importance of conservation and how we can all help to protect and preserve this incredible species and the ecosystems they protect.  

Noah’s Ark is proud to support the vital work of Tusk and VulPro (Vulture Conservation Project) who aim to conserve vulture populations in Africa through breeding, education, community engagement, rehabilitation and research. “Vultures are a critical but undervalued component of African ecosystems. Continuing support for the work of VulPro is essential to raise their profile and combat their ongoing decline.” 

This International Vulture Awareness Day, let's unite to protect these magnificent creatures and ensure they continue soaring high in our skies, maintaining the balance of nature for generations to come.

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