January - March 2010 / # 1
2 hours ago our wandering female harrier from the west
In this issue:
coast flew straight into the heart of Lesotho! She is now
close to a smal stream in a high altitude val ey, about
1 More travels by Lockie . . . . . . Rob Simmons
32 km from the Katse Dam. She has flown a straight line
distance of 1173 km from her coastal "home" near
2 Farmer found guilty of poisoning vultures
Paternoster to these mountains.
3 West Coast Harriers . . . . . . . Rob Simmons
6 Feb A new development in the continuing harrier saga.
Our female from the west coast left Lesotho and is
3 Manica, Namibia sponsorship
seemingly headed for Swaziland! She moves 226 km
from the south end of Katse Dam in highland Lesotho to
3 Vulture movements recorded by satelite
56km NW of Newcastle. Her route appeared to take her
through Royal Natal National Park and Sterkfontein
4 Abuse of pesticides . . . . . . . . Liz Komen
5 Wildlife poisoning in Africa . . . . . Birdlife Africa
7 Feb North of Memel in farmland.
6 New drug threatens vultures . . . . . . . AFP
8 Feb Moving towards Swaziland, 11 km north of
6 White-backed Vulture at NaDEET . Andreas Keding
10 Feb About 6 km east of the towns of Vrede and
Thembalilhe in the northern Free State.
More travels by Lockie, the Black Harrier
She has now covered over 1580 km from her west Coast
"home" to the northern Free State border, and that assumes
In Raptors Namibia 6 of Nov/Dec 2009, we reported on the
she flies in straight lines (like those crows). Lockie has real y
interesting movements of a Black Harrier female fit ed with
been a "pay-back" bird - cut ing through al the theories we
a satel ite tracking devise. Rob Simmons reported that like
had about Black Harrier migration/nomadism and repaying
al good South Africans, the female, known as Lockie,
the work involved in get ing her tagged. She has set led, for
headed for the coast during the summer holidays and spent
now, about 20 km east of Vrede in some rol ing grasslands
time in the Roche Pan area and near Cape Columbine over
in the northern Free State.
the coastal fynbos.
Trevor Oertel from Vrede, who knows the area intimately,
On 5 Jan 2010, she flew over Vredenburg to west of
reports that: (i) there have been very good rains there (i ) on
Hopefield. Not liking what she found, she headed
about 7 Feb a termite emergence occurred, as Lockie
overnight back to Cape Columbine. On 28 Jan, Rob
arrived (i i) and no less than 4 species of Francolin occur in
the hil s and val eys. Trevor has been scouring the area to try
to locate our harrier but has had no luck yet.
"If you thought we were get ing a handle on the coastward
movements of our highland breeding harriers, think again!
14 Feb She is close to a river that runs north-south through
Lockie the female harrier we have tracked for the last three
months, from Niewoudtvil e to Karoo Poort to Roche Pan to
Paternoster, over about 280 km, is gone. 600 km inland!'
22 Feb Sad news… our ground-breaking harrier has flown
Here is her recent travelogue.
25 Jan Freshwater Bay near Paternoster on South Africa's
Her signal became becalmed between 14 and 17 February
west coast (she's been here for the last 2 months)
in the grasslands 10 km east of Vrede. Trevor Oertel tried to
find her, but without success. I became more concerned that
26 Jan (7:24 pm) suddenly moved 310 km east - 40 km short
she was not moving and asked Trevor to check a smal
of Fraserburg in the Karoo!
marsh close to the R543. On Friday 19 Feb Trevor and his
two assistants, Champ and Mashona located her, dead in
27 Jan (7:09 pm) 610 km east from Paternoster, 21 km past
the marsh near a smal stream. She was stil wearing her
transmit er, but was emaciated and head down in the grass.
3 Feb An early morning update to say that lit le more than
Continued on page2
January - March 2010 / # 1 – Page 2
At empting to piece together what may have caused her
For those contemplating using (or who are using ) satel ite
demise, Trevor photographed and then took her to the local
tags, the main lessons learned from this exercise are (i) the
vet who X-rayed her. They did not reveal any obvious
results almost always blow away any (untested) theories one
injuries or trauma, but he estimated that she had died "24-
may have had about your study animal's movements. She
48 h before", or on 17 Feb. This was based on maggots
crossed the world range of this global y vulnerable species
that can be a relatively accurate guide to the date of demise.
in less than 2 weeks when she should have stayed on the
west coast! (i ) the harness should be fit ed very snugly -
Smal overhead power lines about 12 m away suggest she
not tightly - for the periods when species may natural y lose
may have hit them, but we cannot rule out other causes.
One of these was that 3-4 secondaries had been pul ed
through the harness on her right side and this may have
My sincere thanks to Trevor and his two assistants for their
impeded her progress. This seems unlikely given the huge
enormous help in locating and then determining why our
distance she covered since 25 Jan, that took her 1600 km
restless female came to rest. Thanks to Natural Research
from the West coast of South Africa to the eastern highveld
(Ltd) UK, Hawk Mountain and the FitzPatrick for their funding
grasslands of the Free State in 13 days.
support of this project.
Farmer found guilty of poisoning vultures
According to information received, three Lappet-faced
Vultures were poisoned on a farm in the Maltahöhe area in
late 2009. The Mariental of ice of the Ministry Environment
and Tourism, managed by warden Elton Kuruseb
investigated the case. A farmer was charged and released
on N$1500 bail. He was later found guilty and fined N$300.
This must be a first in Namibia. Someone found guilty of
kil ing vultures. There is hope! Thanks to Elton Kuruseb and
One of the dead vultures was ringed at Gemsbokwater in the
Lappet-faced Vultures flying over the Namib. Vulture on nest in
Namib-Naukluft Park in 2004 by Ann Scot with one of Marc Dürr's
the tree on the right
January - March 2010 / # 1 – Page 3
West Coast Harriers
A recent volunteer for the harrier project,
Kirsten Retief, reports three nests at the
Oliphants River on the South African
1 One flying youngster at the mouth
2 One flying youngster up stream
3 A nest with two about-to-fledge youngsters
stil with some down, at the first big bend up
4 A possible fourth nest given that there are another two
young flying around unassociated to any known nest!
Two new nests have been reported from above the Cape
Vulture colony at De Hoop by Kevin Shaw. Nicky Hess
reported a nest with three wel grown chicks on the east side
Cronje Grane of Manica Namibia, handing over Manica's
of the river mouth at De Mond.
donation for the Vultures Namibia ringing and tagging project in
Gerald Wingate reports a harrier from Bontebok National
the Namib-Naukluft Park, to Peter Bridgeford
Park, foraging between the of ice and the main gate. There
are no birds reported nesting here this season.
Vulture movements recorded by satel ite.
Kevin Shaw and Nicky Hess conspired to ring the
In Raptors Namibia #4 of June 2008, there was an
youngsters (three fledged) from the surviving nest at De
interesting article on a vulture project by Orr Spiegel of the
Mond, while Jan Hofmeyer kindly ringed a nestling at De
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. They caught adult White-
backed and Lappet-faced Vultures in Etosha and fit ed them
Nickel Fortuin reported final y finding the nest above the
with satel ite GPS transmit ers. The map shows the
vulture colony at De Hoop, which fledged two young in late
movements of these White-backed Vultures.
Botanist Nick Helme reports activity; likely to be a nest in
Wilferd Versfeld from MET, Okaukuejo, who is monitoring
Kamiesberg, in mid October.
the vulture movements, is curious to know why and what the
Kevin Drummond-Hay reports a harrier from N2 highway
vultures are feeding on in the area east of Grünau. This is
between the Swart Rivier Rd and Bot River. During
near the Quiver Tree Forest, a tourist at raction in that area.
December to January, massive fires spread through the
Agulhas National Park, so there is unlikely to be breeding
Do any of our readers know of a vulture restaurant in that
there for the next two - three years.
2010 / #1 – Page 4
Abuse of pesticides
the register were asked for. The 13 warnings on the original
container were simply disregarded, as was the capitalized
In September, a poisoning event in Caprivi resulted in the
statement "FOR PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY". The
death of over 75 vultures. Through investigation, a company
recommended dilution of this highly concentrated, poisonous
in Katima Mulilo was found to be sel ing 100ml bot les of a
chemical is 1:100, but on the repackaged il egal bot les, there
liquid pesticide. These bot les of repackaged chemicals
were no directions for dilution.
were without labels. Whether or not this was the chemical
that kil ed the vultures and presumably other animals, is not
Pesticides are label ed and colour-coded to protect people.
known. This is in flagrant disregard of human and
The pictograms on the labels clearly describe
environmental safety, national and international laws and
environmental and wildlife safety aspects. Al labels state
that in case of any poisoning event, the label should
accompany the person to the hospital. This enables medical
A range of national and international laws and regulations
staf to provide the correct treatment. For al actions
govern human and environmental protection. In Namibia,
involving packaging, handling, transport, storage and use
even though protection for people and the environment is
of pesticides, there are clear pictograms and text on the
prof ered by the Namibian constitution, the Environmental
label. This minimizes the risks that manufacturers know are
Management Act, the Hazardous Substances Act, the
inherent in their products. Opening and handling of
Medicines Act, the Farm Feeds and Fertilizers Act and other
pesticides must be done in a control ed environment, such
relevant national and international laws, poisoning events
as a room with washable floors and adequate air-vents.
keep occurring. Many of these are against wildlife. Amongst
Workers must wear protective clothing, including gloves,
people, mismanagement of chemicals may also be
masks, boots and long sleeved overal s.
implicated in some sudden, unexplained il nesses and even
deaths. It is obvious that the various laws relating to
Although the inspectors from the MAWF confiscated the
pesticides cannot on their own, provide for the safety and
il egal y packaged chemicals from the company in Katima
security of people and the environment. Safety from
Mulilo, the damage that was and could stil be done by
pesticides can only be guaranteed when everybody is
these unlabel ed bot les is unknown. Numerous laws and
equipped with a basic knowledge of these dangerous
regulations have been broken and besides the danger to
chemicals; complies with values that support the
wildlife, there is an obvious increase in the potential for
environment and operates within the laws that are there to
suicides and homicides.
protect us al .
Few people realize the potential of poisoning through simple
In the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF),
skin absorption. A child accidental y spil ing liquid pesticide on
Directorate Extension and Engineering Services, the
clothing may return the bot le to the shelf without tel ing an
Registrar is responsible for registration and de-registration
adult. The poison wil be absorbed through the skin from the
of pesticides. Because of the hazardous nature of al
contaminated clothing and il ness may occur within hours
pesticides, including those termed "organic", stringent
or days. The unsuspecting parent wil have no idea that the
regulations exist for any activity involving these chemicals.
child was poisoned. If the parents do suspect poisoning,
These regulations fulfil the requirements of the Farm Feeds
they wil not know whether it was Harmful, Toxic or Highly
and Fertilizer Act of 1947. Working with the Registrar is a
Toxic. Even if the parents took the unlabled bot le to the
smal division that operates as an inspectorate. Inspectors
hospital, medical personnel would have no idea what it
have authority to inspect any premises dealing with
pesticides; to recommend actions; to confiscate products
and lay charges when there is mismanagement.
A further criminal of ence that occurred in the Caprivi case
and that has been exposed in numerous other pesticide
Al pesticides are colour-coded. Groups 4 and 3 are coded
sales in Namibia is "ut erance". Pesticide misuse or "of -
green and blue and marked "Caution". Group 2 is yel ow
label use", is often suggested by sales personnel.
and marked "Harmful". Groups 1a and 1b are colour-coded
"Ut erance" is highly dangerous as the unsuspecting public
RED and are "Toxic" and "Very Toxic". Recognizing the
accepts the advice from sales personnel as coming from an
problems with of -label, il egal and careless pesticide use,
expert on the products and its uses.
MAWF has for many years insisted that pesticides colour-
coded Yel ow (Harmful) and Red (Toxic) may not be on an
An appeal is hereby made to al who care about their
open shelf. Yel ow and red coded pesticides must be locked
personal and their environment's safety, to understand and
in a safe place and a register with every purchaser's details
be aware of irresponsible behaviour concerning pesticides.
has to be kept for every sale made.
Most of us have poisons in our homes or garages. Misuse
of pesticides is an inexcusable criminal activity. Certainly,
As part of the investigation after the poisoning of the
ignorance is no reason for disregarding the law when lives
vultures mentioned above, someone was sent to a local
are at stake. Prosecution is probably the best option,
business in Katima Mulilo. This buyer had no problem in
because it seems that providing protective laws and asking
purchasing an unlabel ed bot le of poison and no details for
for cooperation on this issue is simply not enough.
January - March 2010 / # 1 – Page 5
Wildlife poisoning in Africa
Kenya, Martin Odino from the National Museums of Kenya
Birdlife (AfricanBirding) Release, 30-11-200
and af iliated with Wildlife Direct, with funding from the
Sent to Raptors Namibia by Linda Mil ington
African Bird Club and Ruf ord Smal Grants, is working with
BirdLife has learnt that a widely available poison is being
Nature Kenya (BirdLife Partner) to quantify the threat of
used to il egal y kil thousands of birds every month in
poisoning to birds, focussing specifical y on the Bunyala
Kenya. Game poachers in Botswana use it to kil vultures.
Rice Scheme. "We are counting poisoned birds, working to
The poisoning of wildlife seems to have recently increased
educate local people about the importance of birds, and
across Africa and BirdLife International is cal ing for
informing them of the health risks associated with eating
increased and concerted ef orts to address this threat.
their poisoned meat".
Situated in western Kenya near Lake Victoria and the
BirdLife Botswana is also working to educate local people
Ugandan border, the Bunyala Rice Scheme is a heavily
about the use of poisons. "We are embarking on an
irrigated area, which provides ideal growing conditions for
awareness raising programme to address this issue, and
rice. This water-logging also creates suitable feeding habitat
wil also be working for legislation to restrict the availability
for both non-breeding migratory and resident birds, which
and use of poisons which are a threat to our environment
are being targeted by local people who view the meat as a
and human wel -being", said Pete Hancock.
In response to problems caused by wildlife poisoning
The poison used is cal ed Carbofuran or Furadan and is
across the continent, the BirdLife Africa Secretariat has also
designed to control insect pests in a wide variety of field
been focusing on chemicals and drugs as one of the threats
crops such as potatoes, corn and soybeans. However,
to birds and their habitats. With funding from the Ruf ord
Carbofuran is also toxic to animals, and has one of the
Maurice Laing Foundation, through the RSPB (BirdLife in
highest acute toxicities to humans of any insecticide widely
the UK), over 2,000 posters have been printed and are
used on field crops. As lit le as a quarter teaspoon can be
being distributed to raise awareness of the threat to
fatal, and there have been reports of a child dying recently
vultures; and coordinated counts wil soon be undertaken
in Kenya after ingesting the poison.
in East Africa to verify the extent of the problem and make
recommendations for mitigation.
BirdLife has learnt that in Bunyala the widely available
poison is placed inside snail shel s to present an at ractive
Furthermore, a survey has been undertaken on the use of
bait. Decoy birds are used, and poachers disturb the
chemicals in BirdLife network countries in Africa, and the
surroundings to encourage wild birds to set le into the
BirdLife Secretariat and Partners have started lobbying
baited areas. Once captured, target birds are kil ed and sold
relevant authorities to inform them of the extent of the
for human consumption.
problem and urge increased vigilance. "Our work has
helped to identify the threats to birds caused by poisons
Throughout Eastern and Southern Africa, there are
such as Furadan", said Jane Gaithuma, BirdLife's Senior
increasing reports of the use of Carbofuran to poison wildlife
Programme Manager, Regional Policy & Advocacy
il egal y. In Botswana, poachers have recently been
Coordinator for Africa. "We want to ensure that any
observed lacing their Giraf e carcasses with the poison to
chemical use in the environment in Africa does not threaten
at ract vultures and kil them. "It appears as though the
birds and biodiversity".
poachers are deliberately aiming to eliminate every vulture
in the area, since the birds are quickly alerting the
authorities to the occurrence of their poaching activities",
said Pete Hancock, BirdLife Botswana's (BirdLife Partner)
Conservation Of icer.
In two recent incidents, over 80 individual vultures, including
White-backed Gyps africanus
and Hooded Vulture Nec-
, have been deliberately poisoned in
Botswana. "We are very concerned by the escalating and
indiscriminate use of poisons for kil ing vultures, as this has
decimated their numbers throughout Africa and is the single
greatest threat facing al vulture and raptor species here in
Botswana", added Pete.
The BirdLife Africa Partnership and many other
conservation organisations across Africa, like Wildlife
Direct, are already working to address the problems caused
by avian poisoning, and are cal ing for increased, concerted
ef orts to deal with the rapidly intensifying problem. In
Poisoned Lappet-faced Vulture
January - March 2010 / # 1 – Page 6
New drug threatens vultures
vultures for disposal of their corpses as they consider that
burial or burning of human remains pol utes the natural
Sent to Raptors Namibia by Sandra Gush
New Delhi - Scientists who helped secure a ban on a cat le
medicine blamed for plummeting vulture populations in India
Conservationists are now pushing for another drug to be
are scratching their heads after a replacement drug also
used by farmers in a last-ditch ef ort to save the vultures.
proved lethal to the birds.
"Only meloxicam has been established as a safe alternative
Vultures, which have almost mythical status across much of
for vultures, while at the same time being an ef ective drug
the world, have become an endangered species in India due
for treating cat le," Vibhu Prakash, who runs a captive
to their vulnerability to drugs found in the carrion they eat.
breeding centre for vultures at Pinjore in northern India, said.
Their near total disappearance from Indian skies was
"Vultures are slow-breeding birds," he told AFP.
principal y at ributed to diclofenac, a drug used to treat colic
in cat le but which causes a deadly kidney ailment in vultures
"Females lay one or two eggs at a time. So it wil take at
known as visceral gout.
least a decade to assess whether the species can recover."
After diclofenac was first introduced in the mid-1990s the
populations of white-backed, slender-bil ed and long-bil ed
vultures fel by more than 95 percent.
When the drug was final y banned three years ago,
conservationists hoped for a turn-around. But tests have
now revealed that another drug used as a substitute is also
Wildlife group Birdlife International said that "researchers
looking into safe alternatives have now identified that a
second livestock treatment in Asia - ketoprofen - is also
lethal to the birds.
"Ketoprofen could already be contributing to further declines
of the remaining vulture populations caused by diclofenac
and this is a trend likely to increase," it said.
Campaigners, who lobbied hard to get diclofenac banned in
India in 2006, had predicted the substitute drug would pose
lit le harm to vultures as it is metabolised rapidly by cows
into a form that was thought harmless.
But though not as toxic as diclofenac, "bigger doses of
ketoprofen are lethal for the birds," Chris Bowden, vulture
programme manager at Britain's Royal Society for the
White-Backed Vulture at NaDEET
Protection of Birds (RSPB), told AFP by phone.
White-backed Vulture at NaDEET
A 2007 study by the Bombay Natural History Society, a
conservation group, estimated there were only about 11 000
A White-backed Vulture arrived at the Namib Desert
white-backed, 1 000 slender-bil ed and 44 000 long-bil ed
Environmental Education Trust's (NaDEET) Base on
vultures in India.
In the 1980s, the graceful birds were found in their mil ions
It was acting very strangely and we suspected poison.
across India but now the few survivors are mainly restricted
Having given it water, it drank about a litre and later it drank
to protected wildlife parks and nature reserves.
more. Overnight it improved and flew of towards the north.
As ef ective natural scavengers they play a key role in India,
On Monday, we spot ed it again at the Hideout, ± 2km south
where cows - sacred in the Hindu religion - are left out in the
of the base. I am very sure it was the same one. It was flying
open when they die.
away from the vehicle and stil not flying far, but looked much
healthier and bet er than before.
Fol owers of the Parsi faith, a tiny minority, also depend on
January - March 2010 / # 1 – Page 7
The whiteness of this
Fish Eagle seen near
We saw a tagged (E031) White-backed Vulture in
Sedgefield in the
Etosha on 13 Feb 2010. It was at a zebra carcass
Cape, South Africa
with about 15 other White-backed and 2 Lappet-faced
intrigued us. None of
Vultures. The carcass was approx. 2 km before the
the books of er any
turnof to Sprokieswoud. . . Walter & Karin Böt ger
help. We thought you
This Whie-backed Vulture was ringed and tagged on 30/01/2009 at
might be interested
Twin Tree, Okaukuejo, Etosha as an adult by Gabrial Shatumbu.
It was also fit ed with a GPS tag as part of a research project in
comment. . . . .
"DeltaWing" is the
name chosen for one
of the Lappet-Faced
Vulture chicks, which
was ringed during the Oct 2009 vulture ringing
season. The nest was near Tsondabvlei. It was too
smal to tag and the right wing appeared to have been
broken and set at an angle.
The chick was revisited in early Jan 2010 to add a tag
and to see if it had survived. On approaching the nest,
the ringers were greeted by the chick coming out of
the nest and at empting to fly. It did not get far, as it
We took a trip to Etosha recently and saw a few
was probably its maiden flight. The broken wing had
vultures, one of which had a tag, E071. It was on Nov
an obvious bend in it and not to cause more stress to
29, on the road to m'Bari, somewhere near the turnof
the chick, it was decided not to tag the other wing.
for Grunewald. . . . . . . . . . Ben Burghart.
Just over 4 weeks later (during the second week of
This Lappet-faced Vulture was ringed and tagged on 5/10/2007 just
Feb 2010), we revisited DeltaWing in order to check
east of Okaukuejo, Etosha as a chick in the nest by Wilferd
on its state of health. On approaching the nest,
DeltaWing was standing in the nest, but then lay
During December, Kerri Wolter, manager of the
down and did not move again whilst we were there.
Vulture Programme of the Rhino & Lion Wildlife
Although we did not see the parents, it was evident
Conservation NPO sent out the first edition of the
that they were stil actively feeding the chick – which
programmes newslet er. A volunteer based in the UK,
by this late stage should have fledged. We hope to
Peter Turnbul put it together. If you would like to
revisit DeltaWing in the next weeks to establish what
receive this interesting and informative pdf document,
has happened to this bird.
email Kerri at: [email protected]
What remains questionable now is (1) whether
Jean Meintjies & Naude Dreyer have regularly seen
DeltaWing wil ever fledge, and if not (2) for how long
the Osprey at Pelican Point, the pump station, past
the parents wil continue to feed the chick. . . . .
the look-out and at the salt works.
On 13 Jan. 2010, we again saw two Lappet-faced
Vultures at the seal colony at Cape Frio. . . . .
A photo of a White-backed Vulture with patagial tag
(E054) was taken on the 10/2/2010 near Leeubron,
Etosha, at a carcass. This was one of the first birds to
be tagged in Etosha on 20/9/2007. The tag was very
dif icult to read by the observers but fortunately, one
of them took a good photo.
Policy Brief • April 2016 GPE's Work in Conflict-affected and Fragile Countries Accelerated Support in Emergency and Early Recovery Situa-tions, GPE has successfully promoted coordinated deci-sions about the best way to utilize resources in crisis settings, such as shifting them to non- governmental 28 GPE's developing country partners are classified providers for direct service provision during acute
B. Chemicals that may be useful in rotation to reduce resistance DEPENDING ON VALID, REGISTRATIONS, PERMITS, OR EXEPTIONS THAT APPLY Some of the permits/registrations listed here may already be invalid due to review outcomes Western Flower Thrips Greenhouse Whitefly Capsicums Cucumbers Two Spotted Mites (Spider Mites)