Community commitment to vulture protection.
In addition to various tagging and research initiatives, the Caring For Conservation Fund has increasingly involved itself in raising community awareness for vulture conservation. Human activities have led to significant declines in wildlife species globally, and vultures are no exception. Factors such as poisonings, trade, electrical infrastructure, habitat loss, disturbances, and belief-based practices have all contributed to the decline in vulture populations. It is crucial to sensitize humans, especially local communities, about the importance of vultures and work towards mitigating the stressors caused by human activities.
Since 2021, the C4C Fund, in collaboration with partners, has consistently published updates and informative resources on vulture movements in Zambia and their ecological significance on various social media platforms. In 2023, the Caring For Conservation Fund joined forces with BirdWatch Zambia and Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust to feature a vulture-themed section in Chipembele’s quarterly Kalata Kids Magazine. These magazines are distributed to numerous local schools in the Luangwa Valley. With funding from C4C, 10,000 copies were printed and distributed not only in the Luangwa but throughout Zambia, with a specific focus on Liuwa Plain National Park and the greater Lusaka area to maximize impact. The magazines included a captivating poster by a renowned Zambia-based photographer, fascinating vulture facts, information on their importance, and details on topics like rabies.
Beyond the Kalata magazines, the C4C Fund sponsored Vulture Workshops with Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust for over 1410 school children in the Luangwa Valley. These workshops employed interactive methods to educate children about the unique lifestyle and adaptations of vultures, identification techniques, and engaging games. This effort was especially crucial in light of past wildlife poisonings in the Luangwa Valley, emphasizing the need for increased awareness within local communities.
In addition to the Kalata magazines, the C4C Fund sponsored vulture workshops with the Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust for over 1410 school children in the Luangwa Valley. These workshops used interactive methods to teach children about the unique lifestyle and adaptations of vultures, identification techniques and fun games. This outreach was particularly important in light of past wildlife poisonings in the Luangwa Valley and emphasized the need for increased awareness within local communities.
In 2023, the C4C Fund also experimented with a new initiative, involving school paintings in collaboration with two schools in Chitungulu, a community just north of Luambe National Park in the Luangwa Valley. Approximately 150 children participated in two sessions, painting their schools with depictions of vultures and other wildlife. The initiative proved highly successful and will be followed by workshops planned for 2024.
Currently, the C4C Fund is in the process of developing educational posters designed for children to be displayed in schools, aiming to further raise awareness and help children identify vultures in the wild.
Photo: Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust