#ShockWildlifeTruths: Karoo's Samara Reserve sees Cape Vulture revival

2017-02-16 13:35 - Boipelo Mokgothu
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Ten Cape Vultures spotted at Samara Game Reserve. There is only about 10 000 left worldwide.

Cape Town - Ten Cape Vultures, which are classified as endangered, were seen feeding on a Cheetah kill in the Samara Private Game Reserve. There are fewer than 10 000 of these birds remaining, and to see an increase of these creatures doing what comes naturally in the wild is a significant conversation success.

Sarah Tompkins of Samara, which is dedicated to conservation and the promotion of ecotourism, says that vultures play a vital role in a healthy eco-system.

Tompkins says that Samara is fully committed to the restoration of land in the Great Karoo as part of its contribution to SA's greater conservation.

“We are both excited and proud to see that ongoing conservation efforts at Samara and by conservation programmes across Southern Africa, have yielded such encouraging results. The return of Cape Vultures to this land is an important indicator that the local ecosystem is being repaired,” she says.

READ: #ShockWildlifeTruths: SA experts save 9 endangered vultures

Ten Cape Vultures spotted at Samara Game Reserve. There are only about 10 000 remaining worldwide. Photo: Tendai Moyo

The late Dr André Boshoff, a renowned expert in raptor ecology, says that there is evidence that thousands of the Cape Vultures travelled to the west from their breeding sights in the Eastern Cape and Lesotho because of the increased food supply after the Karoo’s summer rains. In winter, the birds would then return to their breeding site in the east.

Tompkins explains that the return of 10 Cape Vultures is a victory for local conservation because in the past, only three lone Cape Vultures have been spotted in Samara. 

“We look forward to many more conservation successes in the coming years, which are important not only for the sustainability of this land, but also for the people and communities of the Eastern Cape and beyond,” says Tompkins.

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