September 2, 2017
It’s International Vulture Awareness Day
- as seen by -Ken Huth
Vultures get a bad wrap.
Scavenger. Bloodsucker. Profiteer. Opportunist. These are just some of the uses of the word “vulture”. They are associated with such gruesome imagery as bloody bald heads and feasting on the dead. This, however, is what makes these birds of prey amazing – and essential to the health of the planet.
These sanitation engineers help rid their regions of the carcasses that would litter the landscape and spread disease. Unfortunately, because of their bad reputation and the widespread use of diclofenac – an anti-inflammatory drug used in cattle, vultures worldwide are in drastic decline. Many of these are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as endangered or critically endangered. This cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) is fairing better than most and is listed as near threatened.
The first Saturday of September each year is International Vulture Awareness Day. On September 2, you can take part of this worldwide public relations campaign. Help change the way people think of vultures and help change the world.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Come to the Bronx Zoo and visit our pair of cinereous vultures (above, our male) and other birds of prey on International Vulture Awareness Day.
Nikon D5, Nikkor 200-500 Lens