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Background

Peter Becker came to Namibia in 1964 to teach the "locals" how to ring birds. The caption on the back of this picture reads:

 

"Unter dem Geierhorst, der die ganze Krone des Kameldornbaumes einnimmt (Ohrengeier, 1 Junges ist im Horst), Tinkas Fläche, Wildreservat 3, 29.11.64"

 

"Under the Vulture's Nest, that occupies the complete crwon of the Cammelthorn

(Lappet-faced Vulture, 1 chick in the nest), Tinkas Plains, Game Reserve 3, 29.11.64"

 

 

Vultures Namibia was established in 1997, at which stage it formed the Namibian representation of the Vulture Study Group (a working group of the Endangered Wildlife Trust, now the Birds of Prey Program, BoPP). It was officially renamed “Vultures Namibia” in 2005, to reflect its local identity. It however continues to have strong ties with the BoPP, and other organizations involved in raptor conservation.

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The group owes its existence to Peter and Marilyn Bridgeford, who started the ringing and monitoring of Lappet-faced Vultures in the Namib-Naukluft Park as early as 1991. In 1999, this activity was expanded to include the NamibRand Nature Reserve, the largest private nature reserve in Namibia, bordering the Namib-

Naukluft Park. In 2003, the ringing activity was further expanded to commercial farms.

 

The first aerial survey using a light aircraft to find the nests of breeding Lappet-faced Vultures over the vast plains of the Namib-Naukluft Park, was conducted in 2001. From the air, the large nests are very visible and by the end of the survey, 42 occupied nests had been located. Aerial surveys have since been performed on

an annual basis.

Since 2003, as an outcome of the first annual meeting of the Vulture Study Group in Namibia, Vultures Namibia has been supported by Nedbank Namibia’s Go Green

Fund.

 

Vultures Namibia is not registered as a charity, as it is not large enough to warrant charity status. It has no paid employees; all who assist are volunteers and do not expect to be paid. Most financial donations are channeled through the Namibia Nature Foundation, a registered and annually audited NGO.

 

Currently, Vultures Namibia’s focus lies in the following activities:

  • Lappet-faced Vulture ringing project in the Namib-Naukluft Park

  • Vulture ringing on commercial farms

  • Visits to farming communities to promote vulture conservation