Vultures are under extreme pressure from a range of human activities. Drastic and widespread vulture population declines in recent years in Asia and Africa is reflected by IUCN Red List status: the majority of species of Old World Vultures are now listed as ‘Critically Endangered’. Vultures are nature’s garbage collectors: they provide critically important ecosystem services by cleaning up carcasses and other organic waste in the environment, thus reducing the spread of dangerous diseases such as anthrax and rabies - resulting in highly significant economic and human health benefits.
In November 2014, CMS Parties gathered at COP11 in Ecuador adopted CMS Resolution 11.14 Programme of Work on Migratory Birds and Flyways, which established the mandate to develop a Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP), under the auspices of the CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MoU). The mission is to bring together representatives of Range States, partners and interested parties, to develop a coordinated Action Plan for submission to CMS COP12, scheduled to be held in October 2017.
The overall aim is to develop a comprehensive strategic Action Plan covering the whole geographic ranges (at least 124 countries) of 15 species of Old World Vultures to promote concerted, collaborative and coordinated international conservation actions.
Vulture MsAP objectives are: