Eastern Cape conservationists are thrilled by a recent sighting of Cape vultures in the Samara Private Game Reserve, which could herald an upturn in the ecological diversity of the region.
The reserve, which also hosts cheetah, zebra, rhino and giraffe, says that ten of the birds were recently seen feeding on a cheetah kill.
Since the early 20th century, it says, the Cape Vulture has been decimated by human activities and development. These days, there are only an estimated 10 000 of the raptors left worldwide.
Samara’s Sarah Tompkins says that the presence of vultures is an indicator of a healthy ecosystem.
“Samara is firmly committed to conservation in Southern Africa and to the restoration of land in the Great Karoo and its unique flora and fauna,” she says. “The return of Cape Vultures to this land is an important indicator that the local ecosystem is being repaired.”
The 70 000-acre area is a project in restoration, turning farmland back into the wild expanse it once was.
Thompkins adds that the vulture sighting is a genuine victory for local conservation efforts.