Community-Based Ecological Monitoring of Critically Endangered Hooded Vulture in Rwanda

18 Mar 2021 Mwendo, Rwanda, Africa Birds | Communities

Prudence Ndabasanze

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Conservation of Busaga Forest; a Breeding site of Critically Endangered Hooded Vulture

The Hooded Vulture (Necrosyrtes monachus) is an African endemic and critically endangered vulture species that feeds primarily on human waste. Hooded vultures are the most widespread vulture species in Rwanda, threatened by habitat loss due to expansion of infrastructure, depletion of food and lack of public awareness. Its population in Rwanda is declining (Vande weghe, 2011) considerably. Thus, monitoring and management of their population is of the utmost importance given the decreasing availability of primary habitat.

Critically Endangered Hooded Vulture in Rwanda, Nature Rwanda, 2020.

Critically Endangered Hooded Vulture in Rwanda, Nature Rwanda, 2020.

The goal of this project is to establish a community partnership to promote the monitoring of hooded vultures while promoting their conservation and management in Rwanda. This will be achieved by collaboratively developing a capacity building strategy and starting to implement it in locally organized workshops for specific targeted communities that interact daily with nature and whose contribution to the conservation of these endemic and endangered species is crucial.

At the end of this project, a long-term Hooded vulture monitoring program will be established, the vulture conservation messages will be delivered to communities in the areas frequently visited by Hooded Vulture, and a pool of 30 young conservationist champions established countrywide. These champions will be trained in the different vulture monitoring techniques and will be given the tools and equipment necessary to collect and submit accurate data. The information gathered will be used to promote the conservation of vultures in Rwanda which remains a big gap.

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