New expedition for the Egyptian Vultures in Ethiopia [ 2010-12-22 16:40:46 ]

A second Ethiopian expedition conducted by BSPB and the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (EWNHS)/BirdLife Ethiopia finished. The team members were Ivaylo Angelov and Nikolay Terziev from BSPB, Bruktawit Abdu, Samson Zelleke, Tesfaye Bikilla (driver) from EWNHS and Alazar Daka (WildCODE).

The main results are:
• The high number of wintering Egyptian Vultures in Afar triangle found during the previous expedition was confirmed. For one and the same transect, 1358 Egyptian Vultures were counted in 2009 and 1400 this year. The data gathered by interviews with local people showed that nowadays the Afar triangle seems to be a relatively safe wintering ground for the Egyptian Vultures.
• The developing and expanding electricity network in Ethiopia, built by poles with dangerous design in terms of electrocution threat, gives a strong alert for the future of the large birds of prey in Ethiopia.
• A dangerous practice for stray dogs control was found to be present in Southern Ethiopia and the Rift Valley. We registered use of poisons in three municipalities and in two of them we found poisoned vultures.
• For first time in Africa we observed one bird from the Indian subspecies of the Egyptian Vulture (N. percnopterus ginginianus). This observation enlarges the supposed area of origin of the vultures wintering in Afar triangle to Pakistan and India to the east.

The results from the three African expeditions (Ethiopia 2009 and 2010 and Sudan 2010) will be published in a report which will mark the priorities for future conservation work for the Egyptian Vulture and the other scavenging birds of prey in Ethiopia and Sudan. The report will be available on BSPB’s website by the end of February 2011.
The expedition is funded by Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and the Vulture Conservation Foundation.


1.	Adult Egyptian Vultures on a electricity pylon preparing for roosting 2.	A group of roosting immatures and adults on electricity pylon near Yangudi-Rassa National Park 3.	Bruktawit Abdu interviews a local man from Erbore tribe in South-Western Ethiopia 4.	In the dried Stephanie Lake near to the Kenyan border. The local guide Sika shows the destination of the drinking pools for the livestock
1. Adult Egyptian Vultures on a electricity pylon preparing for roosting 2. A group of roosting immatures and adults on electricity pylon near Yangudi-Rassa National Park 3. Bruktawit Abdu interviews a local man from Erbore tribe in South-Western Ethiopia 4. In the dried Stephanie Lake near to the Kenyan border. The local guide Sika shows the destination of the drinking pools for the livestock
5.	The abattoir in Awassa 6. Hammar people 7.	This Egyptian Vulture was especially sent to pose for us 8.	The posing vulture-close view
5. The abattoir in Awassa 6. Hammar people 7. This Egyptian Vulture was especially sent to pose for us 8. The posing vulture-close view
9.	An individual from the Indian subspecies of the Egyptian Vulture which we observed In Ehtiopia 10.	A Spotted Hyena killed on the road near Addis Ababa 11.	Thick-billed Ravens, Gelada Baboons and Bearded Vulture-endemic species and subspecies in the Ethiopian Highlands 12.	Rueppell’s Vulture, Hooded Vultures and Marabou Stork on a rubbish-dump
9. An individual from the Indian subspecies of the Egyptian Vulture which we observed In Ehtiopia 10. A Spotted Hyena killed on the road near Addis Ababa 11. Thick-billed Ravens, Gelada Baboons and Bearded Vulture in the Ethiopian Highlands 12. Rueppell’s Vulture, Hooded Vultures and Marabou Stork on a rubbish-dump
13.	A landscape from the Ethiopian Highlands 14.	Oryx antelopes in Awash National Park 15.	Part of the team after finishing the work in Afar Triangle
13. A landscape from the Ethiopian Highlands 14. Oryx antelopes in Awash National Park 15. Part of the team after finishing the work in Afar Triangle