As a part of our vulture-themed month of March on the Eyes on Conservation podcast, we are updating and re-releasing our series of four short videos documenting the research of African vulture expert Corinne Kendall and the crisis facing vulture populations in East Africa.

The short video you see below was shot entirely by wildlife biologist and raptor expert Simon Thomsett.  Simon documented this large-scale vulture poisoning event back in 2004, at a time when very few people were aware of the trouble that vulture populations were facing.  His footage shocked people all across the globe and got a lot of folks thinking about vultures in East Africa.

Despite the initial shock that the release of Simon’s footage had all across the globe, it wasn’t until Corinne Kendall started looking into vulture declines in Kenya that a really robust study was able to document the extent of the issue across this region.  Through her research, Corinne found that vulture populations are indeed in precipitous decline, and that poisoning events like the one that Simon documented are the primary cause of this crisis.

It’s easy to understand how this is happening after watching this video and realizing that over 150 vultures can be killed by a single poisoned cow carcass.  This poisoning is being done by pastoralists who are targeting lions and hyenas that have attached domestic livestock.  We are in the midst of a crisis for African vultures that will be difficult to reverse if this poisoning continues.

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