Saturday, September 02, 2017

International Vulture Awareness Day

Drop everything! Today, Saturday, September 2 is International Vulture Awareness Day!

Without vultures, the world would be awash in putrefaction. If only they could clean up politics the way they do festering carcasses!

There are vultures in the Old World and vultures in the New World. They are not closely related genetically. They evolved in parallel manner because there's always a nice supply of rotting meat out there, no matter what (temperate) continent you fly across.

Here's Floppy, one of my favorite vultures! See the bald head? It's a cleanliness thing. No feathers to get all matted up with gore as the bird feeds. Ah, evolution! Magnificent.

So, why do we need to be aware of vultures? Well, in both Africa and India, massive vulture populations have been killed off catastrophically. What kills something that eats festering carcasses? The medicines or poisons those carcasses ingested while they were alive. In the wake of plummeting vulture populations, some countries (especially India) have seen a rise in rabies, wild dogs, and other diseases that vultures shrug off like a walk in the park.

Fortunately, there are vulture rehab programs out there. The San Diego Zoo has spearheaded a modest but significant return of the California condor to the wild, wild West. In Africa, Vulpro is working with several species of African vulture. Due to their reproductive behavior, vulture populations are hard to restore. Here's hoping for success, though. Who wants to slog to work through dead skunks and fly-covered garbage?

So, happy International Vulture Awareness Day! Salute the next buzzard you see! I'm talking about a bald bird, not a political boss.

The word of Vulture for the people of Vulture. Thanks be to Vulture.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Hail his mighty wings!

anne marie in philly said...

praise to vulture! seriously, interesting facts you presented here. thank you.

Laura said...

I'm surprised there isn't a flock (?) of them circling the White House every day since there is a festering carcass currently squatting there.

Hail the Mighty Vulture!

Ol'Buzzard said...

The Ol'Buzzard supports International Vulture Day.
the Ol'Buzzard

Davoh said...

u, apparently there's a whole heap of 'vultures' who sell flammable cladding to hi-rise buildings these days.
May your vultures be more honest.
O, meself trends toward support of buzzards -no disrespect.

Anonymous said...

Happy Vulture Day! good to see Floppy again.
--Kim Cooper