Your students can track the daily movements of 15 satellite-tagged New World vultures across North and South America.
Kids can observe and compare birds' movements by recording the locations on different dates.
To Track movements in real time, click button.
“While vultures in the United States may appear healthy,
the same could have been said two or three decades ago about Old World vultures, and they have since undergone catastrophic declines.”
-- David Barber, Research Biologist, Hawk Mountain
Why are Hawk Mountain's scientists studying these scavengers?
Because scavenging birds eat dead and dying animals they are particularly prone to endangerment. The carcasses they feed on may have pesticides, toxins such as lead shot and drugs. As a result vultures are twice as likely to be globally threatened as raptors in general.
Except for the California Condor, the most endangered vultures occur in the Old World.
In southern Asia three previously abundant species of vultures (the White-rumped Vulture, Indian Vulture, and Slender-billed Vulture) have undergone catastrophic declines of more than 99% during the past 25 years because of the widespread use of a veterinary drug that is toxic to vultures that feed on the carcasses of treated livestock.
In Africa five species of vultures (the Hooded Vulture, White-backed Vulture, Ruppell’s Vulture, White-headed Vulture, and Lappet-faced Vulture) are now seriously threatened as well, largely due to both accidental and purposeful poisoning.
Hawk Mountain's study aims to monitor New World vultures so that scientists can detect potential declines and threats early. Their research work is helping them to understand more about these species and their seasonal movements. At the same time, scientists can provide the conservation community with an early warning system to avert similar problem.
(Left) Jean-François Therrien, Ph.D
Senior Research Biologist
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. (Right) Dr. Marc Bechard.
Marc Bechard, PH.D.
Boise State biologist, HM Research Associate
Keith Bildstein, Ph.D.
Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.
Dr. Jose Sarasola of Argentina, HM Research Associate
David Barber, M.S. Zoology,
Hawk Mountain Sanctuary
Dr. Jennie Duberstein, HM Research Associate &
Sonoran Joint Adventure,
U.S. Fish and wildlife Service, Arizona