The Vulture Crisis
We need to talk about vultures.
It's too important not to put this in perspective: across Asia, Africa and Europe, vultures are in serious trouble. These unsung heroes face mass poisonings, catastrophic and unprecedented population declines, and negative perceptions – when in fact they are nature's sanitary workers, worthy of celebration.
If effective action is not taken now, 11 of 16 vulture species in Africa, Asia and Europe are at risk of extinction in our lifetimes (8 are categorised as Critically Endangered; 3 are Endangered). Their loss would be disastrous for human health (and economies) too.
This is why the BirdLife Partnership is working across three continents, and through international policy, to save our so-ugly-they-are-beautiful and important disease-defeating vultures. Please follow the links below to find out more, and what you can do to help.
"I am Misunderstood"
Vultures do not deserve their bad reputation. Watch this video, produced when we found out about the African Vulture Crisis, to find out why:
Saving Asia's Vultures from Extinction
In the 1990s, 99% of the Indian subcontinent’s vultures were wiped out by the use of the veterinary drug, diclofenac, given to cattle but lethal to vultures feeding on their carcasses. BirdLife helped push for a ban of veterinary diclofenac in India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh, allowing for for populations to slowly stabilise, but they are still nowhere near what they once were. However, we are turning things around through the work of the SAVE partnership, through education, protection, captive breeding, advocacy and legislation.
Can you imagine Africa without soaring vultures? African vulture populations have collapsed in the last 30 years, with poisoning the major threat. Considering the role vultures have in cleaning disease-ridden carcasses, the loss of African vultures would be disastrous for human health and cost economies millions in waste disposal. It is a moral and social imperative to act now to save them.
Given what we know about the effect of veterinary non-sterroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on Asia's vultures, it is incredible that in 2014 diclofenac was authorised for veterinary use in Europe. The drug is already entering the food chain, so we must ban vet diclofenac now, before Europe suffers a repeat of the Asian Vulture Crisis.
Protection through policy
Find out more about an international commitment through the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) to save the most threatened group of terrestrial migratory birds on the planet. You can also download the draft CMS Vulture Multi-species Action Plan here.
Print your own stickers
Download the PDF and print your own sticker to support vulture conservation
Latest Vulture News
The latest research on which Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are toxic to vultures
The first vulture poisoning crisis: Asia
Watch this video to find out how vulture populations collapsed by over 99%, how we responded, and how the SAVE partnership is working to save Asian vultures from exinction. Produced by the RSPB (BirdLife UK).
The impending crisis from a poisonous drug in Europe
Video produced with our Spanish Partner, SEO/BirdLife for the Ban Vet Diclofenac campaign.
Vultures of Africa and Eurasia
Infographic produced with Birdorable
Infographics on the African Vulture Crisis
The Collapse of Africa's Vultures
What's killing Africa's vultures?
Vultures clean up carcasses
Worldwide, vultures are considered one of the most threatened groups of birds. Eleven African-Eurasian species are at risk of extinction in our lifetimes. Please help us now.