African White-backed Vulture – Tag 371

African White-backed Vulture chick - Tag 371 on his nest

African White-backed Vulture chick – Tag 371 on his nest

Species: African White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)

Age: nestling
Tracking Device: Patagial GSM device
This little chick was tagged in late September in Olifants River Private Game Reserve in Limpopo Province, South Africa.  His nest is located high in a Jackalberry tree (Diospyros mespiliformis) on the edge of the Olifants River.  His patagial tags were equipped with a small GSM tracking device.  We have been watching him closely since tagging to find he fledged off the nest on 27 October 2016.  He since returned to the nest, then ventured out again to move only a few hundred metres away downstream, then back to the nest.
Tag 371's very first movements away from his nest.

Tag 371’s very first movements away from his nest.

He is forming part of our vital research into the data deficient and critically endangered tree nesting vulture species.  The Hooded (Necrosyrtes monachus) and African White-backed (Gyps africanus) vultures are two species that have encouraged our specific research into their nesting habits, threats that endanger them and their preferred roosting / breeding sites and foraging ranges.
Watch this special little pioneer as he grows and travels further from home, teaching us so much about the needs and challenges that he faces.
22nd November 2016 – Update
Watching this special AWBV fledgling’s forays into the big wide world is incredibly exciting.  He is exploring more and more of the reserve every day, although thankfully for now has stayed within the reserve boundaries – keeping him safe for a little longer. Below is  composite map of is most recent and furthest travels which have taken him 5.5 km north of his nest. The map includes all of his movements since his first adventure on the 29th of October 2016.
AWBV Tag 371 - Composite movement map 29th Oct - 21st Nov 2016

AWBV Tag 371 – Composite movement map 29th Oct – 21st Nov 2016

26 January 2017 – update
The chick is still expanding his range, recently travelling 40 km north and west of his nest.  He has yet to venture into the boundaries of neighbouring Kruger National Park. The map below shows his movements over only the last 2 months, Dec 2016 and Jan 2017.
AWBV371 Dec and Jan 16:17

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