I think I might have seen a juvenile eagle last week down by the lake… maybe. We’ve been enjoying our nearly daily sightings of the peregrine falcons too. About nesting time for the Cooper’s Hawk we tracked last year… we should go down to the river and see if we can find them again.
The whole set, together. Six vultures. Six proud, lovely carrion eaters. Doing this set made me learn a few things about the birds I never knew, and made me love them even more. I hope you’ve enjoyed this series! It was fun.
Prints and other items such as shirts, totes, etc can be found here at my Society 6 page.
The king vulture’s scientific name is Sarcoramphus papa; Sacroramphus tracing back to the Ancient Greek words sarx and rhamphos, meaning “flesh” and “crooked beak bird of prey” respectively. The species name, papa, is the Latin word for “bishop”, as the namers believed that the bird’s black and white plumage resembled the robes of a bishop.
You disgusting vultures couldn’t even wait two hours to turn a horrific shooting caused by a mentally ill person into a feminist issue.
Speaking as a mentally ill person myself…
STOP EXPLOITING THE MENTALLY ILL FOR YOUR FEMINIST AGENDA.
He shot people because he was mentally unstable, you morons! No sane person deals with rejection by coming to the conclusion of “Hurr durr, I’m going to shoot this girl because she said no to me.” That is the thought process of the severely mentally ill.
STOP BEING IDIOTS AND GET TO THE REAL FUCKING ISSUE: MENTAL HEALTH IN THE UNITED STATES.
That’s weird, why do vultures get a day? Don’t we have enough days already? Well, we probably do have a lot of days (like about 364), but guys, vultures are really important. WAY important. And the world is losing vulture populations at a terrifying rate. Everyone gets understandably upset when a charismatic animal is going extinct, but less so for animals that are equally as important but maybe not as pretty or noble. Some species of vulture have declined over 95% in the last 20 years. To talk about one species, the White-Rumped Vulture; it was possibly the most abundant large bird of prey
in the world- its overall population almost certainly
numbered several million individuals. But since the mid-1990s, IUCN
says, “it has suffered a catastrophic decline (over 99%) across the
Indian subcontinent,” and IUCN puts the total population now at less
than 15,000. Bird Life International suggests that the population might be much lower, with as few as 2,500 adult individual birds.
Why should we care so much? Other animals are going away, too. People are starving. Bad stuff goes down all the time. Yes, and it’s okay to care about more than one cause. This is just a chance to bring vultures to the attention of people that might not otherwise notice! Most people could care less about vultures, or might even dislike them. But they are actually super neat birds, and do a tremendously important job of quick scavenging. Over time, it is true that carcasses will return to the earth through the work of bacteria, insects, and other scavenging animals. But vultures do this quickly, efficiently, and in a way that greatly reduces disease. Vultures clean as they eat; their bodies are such a hostile environment for bacteria and disease that what goes into a vulture disease-ridden, comes out .. well, not sparkly clean but sans disease. These badasses can eat carcasses riddled botulism, cholera, rabies, the bacteria that makes anthrax, etc… and get rid of the nasties. Once eaten by a vulture, it’s a dead-end for disease. Vultures keep these diseases from spreading via other, less hardy scavengers, and keep said diseases from migrating into the ground and in some cases into water supplies (I’m looking at you, botulism).
The disappearance of vultures is keenly felt in some parts of the world. In parts of India, where vultures were once extremely common but have been wiped out by as much as 99%, they are experiencing a huge surge of feral dogs (most deceased cattle in India are not consumed, which used to be Vulture Party Time, but is now rat and feral dog party time) and in turn a big problem with rabies and other disease. over 36% of the world’s death rate from rabies occurs in India. There are estimates that the surge of problems has cost India the equivalent of over $34 billion dollars US, for something that vultures used to do for free.
Okay, what can I do? There is something to be said for spreading awareness. Talk about vultures this weekend! Blog about them! Tweet about them! Annoy your family on facebook! Draw a vulture and make people look at it! Share this post, or any post you like about vultures. If you live in a place with vultures, take some photos and share them. TALK ABOUT HOW NEAT VULTURES ARE. While most of the people that need to hear about it are unlikely to be on Tumblr, people in general don’t care enough to save something unless they like it. So talk about some vultures.
If you want to and are able to, you can donate to a few places to help vultures. For anyone that DOES donate to help vultures and donates $10 or more before Sept. 15th, I WILL PERSONALLY SEND YOU A POSTCARD of my painting of the Cinereous Vulture, above*. For free. Just email me with a screenshot of your donation, and your mailing address. email@example.com This is my tiny way of saying thank you!
Want to actively help? In some parts of the world, surveys are being done and mitigation is in place to keep things as simple as power lines from wiping out large numbers of vultures. This link goes to a Facebook post where Walter Neser looks for vulture casualties under power lines, which are then modified if incidents are found. If you are in South Africa, you can contact him to help out directly: Walter Neser - firstname.lastname@example.org 0765939849 If you are not in South Africa, you ask at rehabilitation centers, bird of prey centers, and other resources to ask if your area or country has a similar program in place (I tried researching this for more areas but had trouble finding info). The loss of life under just one tower in South Africa (warning, photo shows deceased vultures, no gore)
If you have any additional information, including ways to help, please reblog this and add them!
Despite this good news, vultures are not out of trouble yet. The reasons for their decline are many, from human development, livestock management problems, illegal poaching, shooting, other poisoning (intentional or not), poisoning from elephant and rhino poaching (if vultures circle your poached kill, it alerts authorities, so the solution for poachers is to kill the vultures, too), and many other issues. So, share vultures this weekend! YAY VULTURES! Tag stuff on all your social medias with #vultureawareness #vultureappreciation and #IVAD and let’s make it blow up with vultures in everyone’s FACES.
*I can probably only afford like 50 postcards+stamps so if this really goes nuts I regret I can only send them to the first 50 people or so