African Vultures are in trouble. Even the vultures of the iconic Mara-Serengeti ecosystem are facing an uncertain future.
Sadly recent research has suggested that the Mara vulture population has declined by 60% (Research undertaken by the Peregrine Fund). Unlike the Asian Vulture crisis precipitated by diclofenac-induced visceral gout the Mara vultures are being poisoned through the ingestion of meat intentionally poisoned with Furadan. Pastoralists who lose cattle & goats to predators poison the remnants of the carcase with Furadan in an attempt to kill the culprit but a large carcase laced with the pesticide can kill up to 150 vultures!
Furadan is banned in Europe and Canada whilst in the USA the EPA has effectively banned its use on all crops intended for human consumption. Furadan is manufactured by the American FMC Corporation and it is widely and cheaply available in Kenya.
Furadan is an FMC brand name for Carbofuran -a pesticide well-known in the UK for its illegal use in killing birds of prey!
Follow these links to see how Furadan is being used to kill lions and wild birds in Kenya -often the birds are for human consumption (it is easy to get angry at the "hunters" who use carbofuran but most are ignorant of the true toxicity of this substance; we need to direct our anger at the manufacturer and the politicians/officials who allow this to happen!):
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