In the article, Old-world vultures reflect effects of environmental pollutants through human encroachment, Dr. Shaffer and co-authors discuss diverse legacy chemicals that are threatening vulture populations in Africa within the context of anthropogenic stressors such as climate change, habitat loss, and land use change. They also discuss long-term monitoring programs that have documented population threats and changes, as well as future monitoring needs. Many of the chemical threats, like PFAS, DDT, PCBs, and endocrine-disruptors, also can contribute to human health problems. Vultures can serve as indicators of environmental health for humans, wildlife, and domesticated species, and their loss would have additional ecological, social, and economic consequences for ecosystems and human communities.


Jen Shaffer