BOISE, Idaho – Learn about the vital role that vultures – nature’s efficient clean-up crew – play in our environment on Saturday, September 3, at The Peregrine Fund’s World Center for Birds of Prey.
The celebration is part of International Vulture Awareness Day, being held around the world to highlight an important group of scavenging birds that is increasingly threatened with extinction due to poisoning and other human activities.
Two Peregrine Fund biologists will talk about their work with endangered vultures. Chris Parish, head of the organization’s California Condor recovery program in Arizona, will speak at 10:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. Munir Virani, who studies rare vultures in Asia and Africa, will speak at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. A display of stunning photographs by Virani will feature images of vultures and other wildlife in Kenya’s Masai Mara nature reserve and other parts of Africa.
Special activities for kids will include art projects, puzzles, and interactive games showing how vultures use their remarkable senses of sight and smell to find food.
Visitors can get eye-to-eye with hawks, owls, falcons, and eagles at live bird presentations from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Among the featured birds will be Lucy, an 11-year-old Turkey Vulture that arrived at the World Center for Birds of Prey when she was 5 months old after being rescued from people who had taken her illegally from the wild. Visitors also can enjoy close-up views of a pair of California Condors on display in the new Condor Cliffs, which opened one year ago.
The Archives of Falconry will be open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Highlights include an authentic hunting tent and other displays from the Middle East, art, books, sculpture, and artifacts.
When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, September 3
Where: World Center for Birds of Prey, 5668 W. Flying Hawk Lane
Admission: $5 adults, $4 seniors, $3 youth; Members get in free
Driving directions: From I-84, take Cole Road exit and continue south on Cole Road for 6 miles to Flying Hawk Lane.
(Courtesy of 94.9 FM The River)
Did you know?
- Vultures perform a crucial clean-up and recycling role in the environment by consuming dead animals that might otherwise spread disease and contamination. Loss of these scavengers would have far-reaching ecological, economic, cultural and public health effects.
- In 2003, The Peregrine Fund discovered that diclofenac, a veterinary drug used to treat livestock that later die and are left to scavengers, was responsible for massive vulture die-offs in India, Pakistan and Nepal. The drug was banned by those nations in 2006 but is still in use, causing some vulture species to be threatened with extinction.
- A recent study by The Peregrine Fund, National Museums of Kenya, and Princeton University found that vulture populations around the Masai Mara National Reserve have dropped up to 60 percent in three decades due to changing land use and the poisoning of livestock carcasses intended to kill lions and other large predators.
- California Condors can become sick or die after eating animal carcasses shot with lead-based ammunition. This source of lead exposure is the leading cause of death in condors in Arizona and Utah and the principal obstacle to the species’ recovery.
For more information, contact:
Director of Global Engagement
Main Phone: 208-362-3716
Direct Phone: 208-362-8277