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Image courtesy VulPro

Cape Vulture audio, Xeno-Canto 


Cape vultures like to take a dip in the pool (a local waterhole) after feeding.

One of the largest and heaviest vultures of South Africa, Cape Vultures are part of the “Old World” vulture family. The locals revere them for their excellent eyesight which allows them to spot carcasses from great distances and this talent has made them a mystical being in some cultures. Some cultures believe that they have supernatural telepathic abilities and sometimes hunt and consume them in order to gain their powers.   


They are South Africa’s only native vulture, also found in Botswana and Mozambique. They can be spotted soaring high up in the mountains as they look for food and they like to build their nests high up on mountain cliffs. Unlike animals who hunt and kill other animals, Vultures are scavengers e and never hunt their own food, but rather rely on animals who have already died.  They play a critical role in removing rotting carcasses from the environment and prevent the spread of diseases in local communities. They are very social and scavenge in groups. They communicate with each other by a series of hisses and cackles. ​




















This species is currently listed as endangered.



Major threats to cape vultures include poisoning and collisions with vehicles and power lines. The animal remains they feast on are sometimes poisoned by farmers who leave the remains for other predators such as leopards. When these vultures eat the poisoned carcasses meant for leopards, they are harmed instead. In recent years, they have also died from electrocution after hitting power lines.  

Cape Griffon Vulture, Smithsonian Magazine

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VulPro is a non-profit vulture conservation organization, dedicated to halting the decline of vulture species throughout southern Africa. Since their establishment in 2011, their conservation practices, objectives, and protocols have been refined with continuous improvements to better strategies, approaches, and conservation value. This means monitoring tree and cliff-nesting vultures, conducting power line surveys, veterinary and ecological research, education, conservation breeding, the establishment of artificial feeding sites, threat mitigation and rescue and rehabilitation.

Presently, VulPro is the only organization of its kind on the African continent, and furthermore, the only vulture conservation organization which has both in-situ and ex-situ adaptive management and conservation approaches. VulPro is leading the way in vulture conservation and as such is THE organization on the ground, working to save vultures.


Our allies at VulPro suggest that the following actions can help protect the Cape Vulture:

  • Report all grounded or injured vultures you may come across.

  • Report any tagged vultures sightings to VulPro, including photographs and location.

  • Report all vulture/power line incidents you may encounter such as collisions or electrocutions.

  • Report any potential vulture breeding sites and vulture artificial feeding sites, or contact them should you wish to establish one.

  • Volunteer either at the center or assisting Vulpro in the field.

  • Donate items featured on their website's wishlist or through  PayPal, Zapper, or directly.

  • Adopt a vulture for a year or adopt a brick on one of our vulture enclosures

  • Visit the center for guided tours, by appointment.

  • Spread the message, share our work, join our social media pages and educate peers, family members, colleagues, friends etc.

  • Sign up to become a member, receiving all our highlights, newsletter, and annual reports.




Background image courtesy VulPro

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