Eight vultures die of poisoning in Golan، in ‘mortal blow’ to local population
Friday 10/May/2019 - 08:49 PM
Eight griffon vultures were found dead in the Golan Heights Friday after being poisoned، and two more were being treated for poisoning، in an incident that was seen as devastating to the species in the region، as the Times of Israel said.
The Israel Nature and Parks Authority said it was investigating the incident and “will take every measure to find those responsible for the poisoning and bring them to justice.” Nature and Parks Authority head Shaul Goldstein called it “a mortal blow” to the vulture population. Officials said the eight griffon vultures killed made up about half of the Golan’s scant population. According to the Walla news site، repeated poisonings have devastated the local population، which 13 years ago numbered around 130.
They are mostly attributed to local cattle farmers taking illegal action to try and wipe out predators that threaten their herds.
Authorities said the death of the birds during the nesting period was particularly devastating، and could lead to the loss of eggs and hatchlings left without parents. In recent years، the Nature and Parks Authority has made efforts to conserve and rebuild the local vulture population، including bringing in birds from Spain.
“This large-scale poisoning is a real blow،” the Authority’s Wildlife Hospital in Ramat Gan، which treated one of the poisoned vultures، said.
“The investment in every vulture chick from the moment of egg-laying at reproduction centers in zoos، through their nurturing and release into the wild demand huge efforts… we hope the injured vulture gets better quickly and is able to return to the wild.”