Lecture: Africa's vulture collapse: Where do we go from here?

Franklin Park Zoo

Thursday, July 26, 12:15 - 1:15 p.m.

Location: Children's Zoo Meeting Barn
Included with Zoo admission

Did you know that most of Africa’s vultures are critically endangered? Their populations have undergone huge declines in recent decades. And while many people have heard about the poaching of elephants and rhinos, the silent demise of vultures has gone virtually unnoticed. Yet, the disappearance of vultures is intricately linked to both these species, as well as to the fate of predators like lions and hyenas. And it’s not just in Africa where vultures are struggling. Their populations are declining worldwide with potentially large and unknown implications for human wellbeing. As they sit atop the scavenger food chain, vultures play an outsized role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. What is behind the global vulture crisis? And importantly, what are conservationists and zoos, including Zoo New England, doing about it?  

Join us for a talk by Dr. Darcy Ogada of The Peregrine Fund

Darcy Ogada is the assistant director of Africa Programs for The Peregrine Fund, a non-profit organization based in Boise, Idaho whose aim is conserving birds of prey worldwide. Based in Kenya, Darcy is a leading expert on African vultures and is the Africa Region Co-chair of the IUCN Vulture Specialist Group.

Committed to Conservation


We're proud to support the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' SAFE initiative: A commitment to harness our collective resources, focus on specific endangered species, and save them from extinction by restoring healthy populations in the wild. AZA institutions have played a critical role in the conservation of other vulture species such as California condors. The goal of AZA SAFE’s action plan is to improve the population status of six target vulture species in at least 25% of their African distribution by 2020.

AZA members spent over $100,000 in 2014, over $90,000 in 2015 and over $230,000 in 2016 on African vulture conservation. Several institutions have mobilized large field-based conservation efforts focusing on the conservation of African vultures. These programs have included population-monitoring, satellite telemetry, ranger training to reduce poisoning, and awareness building in range countries of significance for African vultures including Botswana, Chad, Kenya, Niger, and Tanzania. Visit AZA's website to learn more about SAFE.

Species Survival Plan

Zoo New England helps Rüppell's griffon vultures by participating in the Species Survival Plan. By sharing research and knowledge, participating institutions work together to establish guidelines that best ensure the health of captive populations, and with success, the survival of otherwise extinct species.

Quarters for Conservation

We've supported The Peregrine Fund through our Quarters for Conservation Program. Through this program, 25 cents from every admission ticket and $2.50 from every membership is used to support wildlife conservation across the globe. New programs and initiatives are selected for the program every six months. Learn more.