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Cabo Verde Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus on the brink: community perceptions, inferences and facts of an extreme population crash

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 September 2019

RUI FREITAS
Affiliation:
FECM – Faculty of Engineering and Marine Science, University of Cabo Verde, COIA – Centre for Environmental Monitoring and Research, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cabo Verde; and CIBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources / InBIO Associate Laboratory, Campus de Vairão, R. Padre Armando Quintas 7, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal.
CATELENE MONTEIRO
Affiliation:
FECM – Faculty of Engineering and Marine Science, University of Cabo Verde; and COIA – Centre for Environmental Monitoring and Research, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cabo Verde.
ISABEL RODRIGUES
Affiliation:
Biosfera I, Mindelo, São Vicente, Cabo Verde.
ALEX TAVARES
Affiliation:
FMB – Maio Biodiversity Foundation, Porto Inglês, Maio, Cabo Verde.
GILDA MONTEIRO
Affiliation:
DNA – National Environment Directorate of Cabo Verde, Praia, Santiago, Cabo Verde. Protected Areas of Santo Antão, Água das Caldeiras, Santo Antão, Cabo Verde.
PEDRO LÓPEZ
Affiliation:
BIOS.CV – Association for Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development, Sal Rei, Boa Vista, Cabo Verde.
SAMIR MARTINS
Affiliation:
BIOS.CV – Association for Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development, Sal Rei, Boa Vista, Cabo Verde.
JOÃO FERREIRA
Affiliation:
Cerro Manuel Viegas, CP 759-Z, 8005-437 Estoi, Portugal.
LIZA LIMA
Affiliation:
DNA – National Environment Directorate of Cabo Verde, Praia, Santiago, Cabo Verde.
JOSÉ PEDRO TAVARES
Affiliation:
Vulture Conservation Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland.
LUÍS PALMA
Affiliation:
CIBIO – Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources / InBIO Associate Laboratory, Campus de Vairão, R. Padre Armando Quintas 7, 4485-661 Vairão, Portugal and University of Cabo Verde, Cabo Verde.
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Summary

The Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus was once an abundant species in the Cabo Verde Islands. Since the 1960s though, and especially during the 1980–1990s, it consistently declined to near extinction. Evidence collected indicates a remnant population of about a dozen pairs or less, scattered through the desert rangelands of only three islands. Extensive enquiry work revealed that this likely resulted from the concomitant effects of the rise in unnatural mortality due to the formerly widespread and long-lasting use of dangerous pesticides and the (still on-going) poisoning of stray dogs and other nuisance animals, and a decrease in food resources associated with factors linked with development, such as urbanisation, rural abandonment and better sanitation. Avoiding imminent extinction calls for emergency action against current threats to the remaining vultures, such as poisoning and electrocution, but also potential causes of impaired fecundity such as hazardous pesticides and shortage of food resources.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© BirdLife International, 2019

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