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Enabling impact: Building a vulture restaurant

Enabling impact: Building a vulture restaurant

December 2nd, 2021

At inlumi Inspiration Day 2021, team members voted to support the building of a vulture restaurant to enable the return of endangered vultures in Namibia. This rewilding project by our sustainability partner, Mossy Earth, provides a safe and reliable source of food for these magnificent and ecologically important species.

Namibia was once home to three species of vulture that are now locally extinct. The cape vulture, lappet faced vulture and white backed vulture are globally endangered, with the latter being critically endangered, as a result of serious anthropogenic threats, including poisoning through contaminated livestock and a lack of wild prey.

To provide a safe and reliable source of food and encourage the return of these vultures, Mossy Earth has established a vulture restaurant. The aim is to encourage these species to reclaim their former haunts, safeguard the future of these endangered species and restore a vital ecosystem service to the landscape. Restoring and rewilding the Namibian landscape would also provide significant ecotourism potential.

“inlumi’s generous support means we will be able to provide a reliable source of food for these vulnerable vultures for many months and even years to come. But its not all about the vultures, the project will also support a wide range of other species, such as eagles and jackals, which we’re already seeing in our camera traps," says Hannah Kirkland, Conservation Biologist at Mossy Earth.

mossy-eagles-project

Photo: Verreaux's eagles (Aquila verreauxii) captured by the camera traps at the restaurant.

The Intervention

Though these three species are locally extinct, a tracking project has recently recorded some birds visiting the area, and we hope that this project will encourage them to return to the area for the long term.

A suitable site for the "restaurant" was identified to maximise the chances that any passing vultures could see the bait. The site was also chosen so that it can be visible from a nearby viewing spot to support wildlife-based tourism and increase awareness of the plight of these vultures.

Goats will be sourced from the local community conservancy, where the majority of people rely on goats as a source of income. Recent droughts are causing some livestock deaths due to lack of available grazing, which is why reproductively inactive goats are being used. This will contribute to local livelihoods and reduce waste.

Camera traps have been installed at the site to monitor activity. The funds will be used to source carcasses on a monthly basis for two years.

Waste Collectors

By supporting the return of these species, we would not only be helping expand the range of endangered species, we would also be restoring a natural process vital for the health of the ecosystem. Vultures are natural garbage collectors and help keep the environment clean and free from disease.

Social responsibility

inlumi will always strive to be a company which contributes beyond client delivery obligations, and that includes taking care of our communities and natural environment. Our team members across our seven locations are equally committed to making a positive impact on the world around them. Learn more about inlumi's mission to enable impact.