Lubombo Vulture Safe Zone

BirdLife South Africa and private landowners
Wildlife Act, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Conservation Outcomes
A Vulture Safe Zone is an appropriately sized geographic area in which targeted conservation measures are undertaken to address the key threats relevant to the vulture species present. VSZ are developed in southern Africa as an approach to complement national and international efforts to reduce the impact of existing and emerging threats to stabilise and promote recovery of existing vulture populations.

The following criteria have to be met in order to qualify as a VSZ:
1.    Poison is not illegally used in the control and killing of mammalian predators such as lion, hyaena, leopard, cheetah, jackal and caracal.
2.    Poison is not illegally used in the control and killing of crop raiding and crop damaging species such as monkeys, baboons, elephants and birds.
3.    Poisons are not illegally used to kill wildlife for its meat/skin or harvesting of body parts for trade and/or use in traditional medicine.
4.    Select members of staff receive poison response training.
5.    A poison response protocol is put in place and, where applicable, drafted into the reserve’s biodiversity management plan.
6.    Lead-free ammunition is used to cull/hunt game/livestock.
7.    Local power producers are engaged to ensure that powerlines are fitted with measures to prevent electrocutions.
8.    All powerlines are monitored to ensure that collapsed wires are fenced off before game or livestock are electrocuted.
9.    Water reservoirs are fitted with escape ladders to prevent birds from drowning.
10.    Breeding vultures (whether cliff or tree nesting) are protected from disturbance during the breeding season.
11.    Supplementary feeding sites (“vulture restaurants”) are managed according to the recommended VSZ supplementary feeding site protocol. 
12.    All carcasses provided as supplementary food at supplementary feeding sites are vetted to ensure that they are lead and contaminant-free (including NSAIDS & other veterinary drugs).
13.    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other veterinary drugs, such as diclofenac, are not used to treat game/livestock.
14.    All vulture populations are monitored following a recommended VSZ monitoring protocol.
15.    Any vulture injuries or mortalities are reported to BirdLife South Africa, and injured birds are recovered and taken to rehabilitation centres.
The above list is not exhaustive, and must be modified according to the characteristics of the property under review.

Private properties in Zululand, possibly Tembe Elephant Park, Maputo Special Reserve (and corridor connecting with Tembe), properties in Eswatini (still to be determined)
Specific Area (Village, Town, District, Province): 
KwaZulu-Natal (Zululand and Maputaland), southern Mozambique, Lowveld regions of Eswatini
HQ of the Initiative: 
Johannesburg, South Africa
2020 to 2021
Is the timeframe likely to be extended?: 
Elaborate on likelihood to extend: 
Ongoing. The project will continue indefinitely.
Thematic Focus: 
NR Protect & Mgt
1st Contact Name: 
Linda van den Heever
1st Contact Email: 
2nd Contact Name: 
Melissa Whitecross