Ghana Wildlife Society to observe International Vulture Awareness Day

Accra- The Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS) on Saturday, September 1 will join the world to observe the International Vulture Awareness Day (IWAD) to sensitise the public on the need for conservation of vultures.

The IWAD 2018 celebration seeks to highlight the importance of vultures, create awareness on the plight they face and garner support for their conservation.

A statement signed by Ms Louisa Kabobah, the Conservation Education Officer at the GWS, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the celebration is an annual event held on the first Saturday of September each year in several countries.

It said vultures play significant ecological and economic roles in the environment as they act as nature’s garbage collectors by cleaning up carcasses and other organic waste found in the environment.

Vultures, the statement said, also lessen the number of other scavengers that gather around carcasses and serve as important disease reservoirs, saying, Without them, we are likely to face outbreak of diseases like cholera, rabies, botulism among others, which are mainly transmitted from wild and domestic animals.

It said, In Ghana, the leading causes of deaths of vultures include deliberate persecution and trade in vulture parts for traditional medicine and magical powers (juju) which sometimes occur across our borders.

Poisoning by poachers for use as baits during hunting, destruction of vultures roosting and nesting sites through vegetation removal, collision with energy infrastructure such as large pylons and wind turbines, and the inappropriate disposal of pharmaceutical drugs such as diclofenac, the statement said.

It said among the species of vultures existing, the most common in Ghana were the Hooded (Necrocystes monachus), White-backed (Gyps africanus), White-headed (Trigonoceps occipitalis), Ruppell’s (Gyps rueppelli) and Egyptian (Neophron percnopterus) vultures.

It said the global response to the vulture crisis resulted in the International Vulture Multi-species Action Plan (IVMsAP) developed under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) with the aim of preventing further declines by suggestion of actions to address imminent threats.

The Society is calling on the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission and the Ghana government to commit the needed financial and human resources towards the implementation IVMsAP in Ghana.

The statement said there is the need for the Ministries of Health, Environment, Energy, Food and Agriculture, Works and Housing and other relevant ministries, to prioritise the plight of vultures in their strategies and develop plans to help recover the population of the vultures in the country.

The GWS called on civil society and pro-conservation groups to join its efforts to sensitize the public on the need for conservation of vultures through the use of robust scientific research and technologies in monitoring vulture populations.

The GWS was established in 1991 as a non-governmental, non-political, non-profit membership-based conservation organisation aimed at conserving wildlife in all its forms for the benefit of all people.

Source: Ghana News Agency

   

Related Posts