CMS COP13 side event: Vultures are still dying from poisoning, but the Vulture MsAP is working

The location on the map is approximate!

This side event was held during the 13th CMS Conference of the Parties (CMS COP13) in Gandhinagar, India on 18 February 2020. Vultures featured prominently in many of the discussions at CMS COP13 including this event focused on the poisoning threat to vultures.

Poisoning is the biggest threat to vulture populations worldwide and is still killing thousands of vultures each year. The Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures (Vulture MsAP) provides a strategic conservation plan covering all 15 species of migratory African-Eurasian vultures.

This side event reiterated priorities from the Vulture MsAP and reviewed the progress in the fight against the use of poison baits and sentinel poisoning of vultures, notably in Africa and Europe.


Key messages

  • The Vulture MsAP is being successfully implemented and is producing good results – vultures in Europe are increasing and improving their status, and in Africa and Asia, where actions have been implemented, we are starting to see some positive outcomes.
  • Poison is the biggest threat to vultures and scavengers worldwide – usually driven by human-wildlife conflict associated with hunting or livestock breeders. In Africa, there is also sentinel poisoning (where poachers kill vultures to prevent them from working as sentinels for enforcement agencies) and some direct poisoning of vultures for belief-based uses.
  • Poisoning of vultures and other wildlife is an environmental crime and should be treated as such – thus engagement of the governmental authorities is a must.
  • Involvement of Government agencies is crucial as well as development of National Strategies and formation of Working Groups.  
  • The best practice and examples from Spain were discussed, where some of the best programmes, strategies and action on the fight against illegal poison are being implemented.



Vultures are still dying from poisoning but the Vulture MsAP is working
(Jose Tavares, Vulture Conservation Foundation)

National strategy against the use of poison baits in Spain
(Rubén Moreno-Opo, Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic challenge in Spain)

Scope and Measures to combat the Wildlife Poisoning threat to Vultures and other Wildlife in Africa
(Andre Botha, Endangered Wildlife Trust)

Anti-poisoning work in the Balkan Peninsula
(Jovan Andevski, Vulture Conservation Foundation)


From left to right: Jose Travares (VCF), Ivana Jelenic (Ministry of Environment and Energy, Croatia), Yana Velina (Ministry of Environment and Water, Bugaria), Ruben Moreno-Opo (Ministry for the Ecological Transition, Spain), David Pritchard (Author, Vulture MsAP Strategic Implementation Plan), Jovan Andevski (VCF) (Photo credit: VCF)

18 Feb 2020 12:45 to 18 Feb 2020 14:30
OrganizadorCoordinating Unit of the Raptors MOU
CoorganizerVulture Conservation Foundation
Instrumento de la CMSBirds of Prey (Raptors)
LugarMahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre