/ 14 June 2012

International ‘red list’ shows 3 SA bird species under threat

The white-backed vulture
The white-backed vulture
The white-backed vulture, the most widespread and common vulture in Africa, has moved up the list by two categories: from near-threatened to endangered, Beeld reported on Thursday.
The species is undergoing a rapid decline in population numbers and faces similar threats to all the other African vultures.
In East Africa, white-backed vultures are primarily threatened by toxic pesticides; whereas in Southern Africa they are used for muti.
The second species, the grey crowned crane, has moved from vulnerable to endangered. The survival of the species is largely threatened by habitat loss and the illegal trade of birds and eggs from the wild which has driven an especially rapid decline during the past 45 years.
The third species, the crowned eagle, a widespread species in Sub-Saharan Africa, has been moved up the list globally from least concern to near-threatened. This species is undergoing a decline due to a number of threats, including deforestation across the African continent.
Birdlife South Africa has also warned that mining activity near sensitive eco-systems is increasingly placing South Africa’s birds under severe threat. – Sapa