Vulture Populations Wane, Poisoned by Man – The New York Times.

“Anthony Ole Tira, who is Masai and was raised on these lands and is now the co-owner of the Matira Bush Camp in the heart of the reserve, stood by a river crossing and pointed to scores of rotting carcasses.

One week earlier, 900,000 wildebeests, long in the face and often short on luck, had plunged headlong into the river in a panic. Thousands were trampled to death.

That was normal. The rotting remains were not.

“Ten years ago, this would have been cleaned by now,” he said. “There are a lot of places along the Mara River that are not as clean as they once were because there are not enough vultures.” Researchers say they have seen what happens to an ecosystem when the vultures disappear.”

This is as important and vital as poor Cecil’s death but who knows about it? Do read the whole article, it’s absolutely staggering how ignorant we are as a species and the stupid, thoughtless things we do that endanger everything … including ourselves !!!

As the article says, “Vultures do not make for pretty postcards, and the local authorities are already stretched thin trying to protect the animals that tourists come to see.” Why, why do we only care about things that might make us money ??? How is it that only in the last 50 years tourism has become one of “the” industries of the world? It creates nothing, it often causes habitat degradation (if not loss), it scares wildlife. There’s an amazing film from 30 years ago of a female leopard in the Serengeti waiting to hunt; first we see a close-up of the leopard then the camera  pans out wide and we see 50 coaches full of twits with cameras and loud voices making it impossible for her to feed !!!

Add to this that we build roads and cities all over the habitat and migration routes the animals have been using for hundreds of millions of years.

Add in that our own human population has increased by over 3 times (!!!) since 1950 !!!

We take up more and more space. We demand more and moire resources. We think we know best. Most of us don’t really care about anything except our own nearest-n-dearest, and not always even them!

What ignorant and arrogant fools we humans are …what are we going to do about that ???

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” … the janitors that clean the grassy plains, are collapsing — part of a broader decline in vulture populations that throws off ecosystems and illustrates how far-reaching the effects of poaching, poisoning and other human interventions can be.

“The overall global picture for vultures is abysmal,” said Darcy Ogada, the assistant director of Africa programs at the Peregrine Fund, an organization dedicated to saving birds of prey. “Does this story echo that of the canary in the coal mine? Sure does.”

In the first major study of the 30-year decline of Pan-African vultures, Dr. Ogada and other scientists found that populations of eight species of vultures had declined an average of 62 percent.

via Vulture Populations Wane, Poisoned by Man – The New York Times.