POISON RESPONSE KITS

Gauntlet Conservation Trust has purchased a number of these kits, and refills, through the Hawk Conservancy Trust. The kits are sent directly to Africa where poisoning is the biggest threat to vulture populations. This threat has grown rapidly in recent years, with the ongoing illegal slaughter of elephants for the ivory trade. Elephant poachers lace carcasses with potent poisons to target vultures, because vultures circle over dead animals, alerting law enforcement of the poachers’ illegal activity. Poisoning associated with ivory poaching now accounts for one third of all vulture poisonings since 1970 and is currently the biggest cause of vulture mortality. This type of poisoning is indiscriminate and is not only a threat to vultures, many other scavenging species are affected. Without intervention, this threat could lead to local extinctions of vultures within the next 50 years.

The Hawk Conservancy Trust’s Poison Response Action Campaign aims to tackle this horrific problem by providing Poison Response Kits and training in high-risk areas. This work is extremely important as it equips field staff to deal with poisoning incidents when they occur, and prevent further loss of life by poisoning to vultures and other wildlife. Our research shows that this work helps to slow the decline of vultures and significantly reduces the probability of local extinctions. We are extremely proud of the progress of this project, and have now trained more than 2500 field staff in 10 countries. This includes training all the field staff, more than 450 people, in Kruger National Park, South Africa, which is one of the largest protected areas in sub-Saharan Africa.

For more information about this project and the vital work the Hawk Conservancy Trust do to conserve vultures in Africa and south Asia, visit their website. (https://www.hawk-conservancy.org/conservation-research/overseas/)