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Project information

#Vets4Vultures: Vets helping Vultures in peril

When species numbers are so low, EVERY INDIVIDUAL COUNTS. We want the highest number possible of injured birds of prey to survive treatment and be successfully reintroduced to the wild.

January 2018 - November 2018

Charity information: Wildlife Vets International

Wildlife Vets International logo
  • Need


    Diclofenac in carcasses in India = Asian vulture numbers down by 99.9%. European vultures risk same fate.

    Carcasses poisoned by elephant and rhino poachers in South Africa = plummeting vulture numbers.

    Wind turbines and pylons throughout the world = birds of prey with orthopaedic injuries.

    Frontline rehabilitation staff do a great job firefighting these problems. They need training in specialist first aid and surgery to ensure individuals contribute to the survival of their species


    WVI’s specialist raptor (bird of prey) vets aim to support rehabilitators and local vets through first aid, surgical, post-operative care and rehabilitation training.

    There is a well-established network of conservation and rehabilitation organisations striving to reverse the decline in vultures and other raptor species.

    WVI will work with partners in India, Bulgaria and South Africa, tailoring training to the need of each situation.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase the survival rates of injured endangered vultures and other birds of prey in South Africa


    » Provide first aid training for raptor rehabilitators in South Africa finding birds on a poisoned carcass
    » Provide wet lab training for vets and rehabilitators in South Africa on how to fix broken wings and legs.

    What success will look like

    The number of vets receiving training will be an immediate measure of success followed by the survival rate of birds in rehabilitation treated by those trained.

    Aim 2

    Increase the survival rates of birds of prey injured during the Kite Festival, Ahmadabad, India


    » Provide local vets with on-the-job surgical training to deal with wings partially severed and legs broken as a result of the Kite Festival.
    » Provide training in pre- and post-surgery care of birds of prey to increase probability of surviving surgery and fitness on release.

    What success will look like

    Survival rate of birds going through surgery, ability of birds to mate and crude fitness of birds being released.

    Aim 3

    Increase the survival rates of injured endangered vultures and other birds of prey in Bulgaria


    » On-the-job training for vets at the Green Balkans Rehabilitation Centre dealing with birds or prey electrocuted by pylons or hit by wind turbines

    What success will look like

    The number of vets receiving training will be an immediate measure of success followed by the survival rate of birds in rehabilitation treated by those trained

  • Impact


    The aim of bird of prey rehabilitation is to release fit birds into the wild that go on to reproduce, contributing to the survival of their species.

    Proof of the implementation of protocols that will result in birds being released that are fit enough to survive and the right apparatus to breed: two workable wings and one leg (species dependent).

    Proof of individual survival and subsequent breeding in the wild is a long term demonstration of success, and is down to our partners in the field.


    Delays often occur when working with a collaboration of organisations. Building long term partnerships can mitigate these problems to some extent. WVI has worked with Jivdaya Charitable Trust in India since 2013, and indirectly with a number of partners in South Africa. Training in South Africa at this scale is a welcome move forward. In Bulgaria, we are embarking on a new and we hope, long term, partnership with the Green Balkans Wildlife and Rehabilitation Center and Great Western Exotics.


    Donors will be sent all project reports and any articles that are written on the project.

    Donors will be appropriately tagged on our project pages on the website and any report that we produce. They will be tagged appropriately on social media promotional posts.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £19,801

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,100 Training, India On the job training for vets and non-vet at the Avian A&E run by Jivdaya Charitable Trust, Ahmadabad
      £13,290 Training, South Africa 3 x 2 day training workshops run by WVI vets for rehabilitators and vets
      £3,411 Training, Bulgaria On the job training, workshops and talks for vets at the Green Balkans Centre

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Homer Forbes International £5,600 Guaranteed
    Kwaggas View Game Lodge £1,200 Guaranteed
    Partner venues in South Africa £1,600 Guaranteed
    Great Western Exotics £2,415 Guaranteed
    WVI £2,900 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Generally speaking, India and Africa have large numbers of people living in poverty. Disease, poor waste management, little medicinal care for livestock and humans are a daily way of life.

    Birds of prey are often found in large numbers around the poorer areas - areas where rubbish and fallen stock are not cleared away. Vultures in particular perform an important role in these areas clearing up and reducing opportunities for disease.


    Vultures, in particular, are nature's clean up crew. India has lost 98% of its vultures, Africa, 90% of its vultures and while the picture is better in Eastern Europe, it isn't rosy. Vultures consume 75% of fallen stock, controlling disease in the process.

    Anyone living in areas where vultures are, benefited from their role in the ecosystem.

    Without them, disease and huge packs of feral dogs are on the rampage.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    WVI saves endangered species through partnering with local organisations, improving their wildlife medicine knowledge and training field biologists as well as local vets.

    WVI has specialist vets who tailor training for the needs of the species and conservation problem.

    WVI has delivered similar training in Russia, Sumatra, Bangladesh, Mauritius and Seychelle to name but a few countries.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Andrew Greenwood

    WVI Veterinary Director, avian specialist and oversees WVI's Raptor Rehabilitation Programme

    Neil Forbes

    International expert in avian medicine, Trainer and coordinator of the South African training

    Tom Dutton

    Avian surgeon and trainer in Bulgaria

    Stefan Harsch

    Avian surgeon and trainer in India