Species: African White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus)
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.
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.
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.
March 13 2017 – update
This fledgling vulture has finally left the immediate area surrounding his nest. In late February he decided to travel south (we assume through Swaziland, but our data is not complete for this area). He has now spent the last several weeks in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province and is currently near the Drakensberg Mountains, between Ladysmith and Harrismith.
Update-AWB 371 movements from 13 March 2017-23 August 2017