Dr L. Jen Shaffer Joins SESYNC Pursuit to Save Africa's Vultures
Dr. L. Jen Shaffer is part of a new SESYNC Pursuit to Save Africa's Vultures.
The Pursuit will be led by Dr. William Bowerman, UMD Dept. of Environmental Science and Technology, and Mr. Andre Botha at the Endangered Wildlife Trust in South Africa. The 17 team collaborators come from Birdlife International/South Africa, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Ezemvelo Kwazulu-Natal Wildlife, Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Alliance, The Peregrine Fund, SANParks, South African Ministry of the Environment, Michigan State University, University of Houston, University of Kwazulu-Natal, and the University of Maryland.
The SESYNC Pursuit: Saving Africa's Vultures will address the African vulture crisis and the decade long decline in populations of 7 of the 11 vulture species that have recently been reclassified as critically-endangered or endangered by the IUCN. Multiple human stressors have been linked to mortality including: poisoning, directly and in association with elephant poaching; harvesting for trade in vulture parts for traditional medicine and beliefs; alteration of habitat through changes in land use; lead poisoning from big game hunting; drowning in farm ponds; and collisions with electrical power infrastructure. The objective is to address this complex issue through a cooperative multinational partnership. Project outputs include providing tools to enable policymakers, conservationists and others to recognize and mobilize resources against the complex web of threats affecting the vultures of Africa.