Diego Mendez won our Marion Paviour award in 2019 for his fascinating research project with King Vultures! The King Vulture is one of the most understudied raptors in South America; Diego is using the funds from the award to survey roosts, foraging grounds and, potentially, nests of the King Vulture in central Bolivia.
We are extremely proud of the work we do in our National Bird of Prey Hospital™; we continue to deliver an excellent record in Bird of Prey rehabilitation. Our Hospital Manager Cedric Robert along with our vet John Chitty, members of the Bird Team, and dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to ensure the wild birds admitted to the Hospital receive the best care possible. 2019 was no exception; with approximately 60% of cases concluding in a successful rehabilitation and release back into the wild! Here are our highlights from the year:
January – A team of trained field staff were able to respond to a poisoning incident in Kenya on a hyena carcass, where 20 vultures were killed.
January – Recruited 9 new volunteers to help with our Kestrel Monitoring Project, walking transects to record bird of prey sightings. This research is extremely important for us to understand how populations across central-southern England are changing so we can work out the best strategies to conserve them.
We’re searching for Hampshire Heroes who deserve an extra gift this Christmas of an Owl Experience!
With the end of the year approaching, it gives us an opportunity to reflect. We’ve caught up with Miriam from our Bird Team who has been reminiscing about special moments captured on camera in 2019:
Back in September our Head of Development, Andy Hinton, and Bird Team member, Ben Cox, headed out to South Africa for our annual conservation field trip to Dronfield Nature Reserve, near Kimberley in the Northern Cape. They also spent some time in Mokala National Park and were lucky enough to take a trip to the Kalahari Desert in northern South Africa. This trip is bittersweet for those who attend.
As part of our International Vulture Awareness Day celebrations we invited you to take part in our Creative Competition.
We are delighted to announce our second annual Marion Paviour Award goes to Diego Mendez for his project with King Vultures in central Bolivia. The purpose of our Marion Paviour Award is to further research into the conservation of birds of prey and is intended to support early-career researchers working towards this goal. Diego tells us a bit more about himself and his project: