1 Nov 2023
Reviving Vulture Populations Within and Around Jos Metropolis
During the first Rufford-sponsored project, which was aimed at restoring vulture populations within the Jos metropolis, surveys suggested that vultures utilise relatively rural areas as breeding/roosting sites while their large home ranges allow them to forage in neighbouring urban areas. This therefore exposes them to persecution and poisoning all over these home ranges which is largely responsible for a decline in the population of Hooded Vultures in Nigeria by over 50% within the last decade. This study will be centred around a wide outreach program to enlighten residents of rural communities in towns and villages surrounding the Jos metropolis, and close to protected areas within the central region of Nigeria, about the ecosystem services of vultures, their spreading of soil nutrients and control waste and the spread of diseases in those ranges.
This project will expand the geographical range and improve the impact of our previous project while contributing to improving the population of critically endangered vulture species and other bird species with similar habitat requirements on the Jos plateau. It also uses results obtained from the first project to address a significant aspect of vulture conservation; the impact of neighbouring rural areas on “urban” vulture populations due to their large home ranges. This project aims to protect the breeding populations in these communities through monitoring, conservation education and maintaining their basic habitat requirements. Citizen science would also be improved in these rural areas, which is desperately lacking in some cases, through community engagement as we will encourage local people to report incidences of vulture sightings and the locations for implementation of conservation measures.
Ultimately, this project will help in updating the population status and trend of endangered vultures across the country. The persistence of vulture populations (other raptors especially) will be promoted by encouraging the conservation of associated tree species.