More than 2,000 critically endangered Hooded Vultures are reported to have died in Guinea-Bissau since 2019. They were deliberately poisoned with an agricultural pesticide. These killings are the largest incident of mass vulture deaths in the world. Dr Beckie Garbett explains why people are targeting the vultures and what must be done to stop it.
How big is the vulture population in the region?
There are six resident vulture species in West Africa: the Palm-nut Vulture, White-backed Vulture, Ruppell’s Vulture, Hooded Vulture, White-headed Vulture and Lappet-faced Vulture. All but the Palm-nut Vulture are either endangered or critically endangered due to populations being decimated by human activities, mainly poisoning. Some species have declined by as much as 97% in recent years. Some of the largest declines have occurred even within protected areas. MORE
Header image: a hooded vulture. Credit: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images.