Vultures form an important ecological component of our natural environment, cleaning up dead carcasses, decreasing the spread of some diseases and playing a social role in some early societies, most notably the Egyptians and the Hindu. Today, they face an unprecedented onslaught from modern mans developments, including electrocutions and collisions with electrical structures, poisonings, land-use changes, decrease in food availability etc.
The vulture programme approaches vulture conservation in a multidisciplinary and networked fashion, with the benefit accruing to both the vulture and society at large. This is achieved by combining the disciplines of education and good science, with networking, capacity building and knowledge generation. The veterinary disciplines of toxicology, pharmacology, clinical pathology and medicine are combined with the science of cell-phone telemetry and the banking of genetic resources, with the end goal being of significantly influencing the well-being of our natural resources to the benefit of society. By focusing actions on the vulture, positioned at the top of the food chain (literally) and an indicator of the health of the environment below it, this project is destined to not only influence but also impact on the well-being of our natural environment.