Kestrel Nest boxes
We have been out and about in the Cheshire countryside installing more Kestrel nest boxes. These boxes will be regularly monitored and we will keep you up to date either here or on our Facebook page, or both!
Update - AWB Breeding Enclosure for VulPro
The GCT breeding enclosure for VulPro is now finished and thanks to the generosity of our supporters we have been able to complete the final payment, bringing the total to about £6400. The birds have been moved into the enclosure and Kerri form VulPro will keep us informed of the breeding success.
New Breeding Enclosure for VulPro
Gauntlet Conservation Trust, GCT, is financing the building of a new Vulture breeding enclosure at VulPro in South Africa. VulPro wanted to build the enclosure to enable them to provide a safe breeding environment for White-backed vultures, these birds are all rescue birds which cannot be released into the wild due to serious injuries.
Existing White-backed facility
African white-backed vultures are classed as “Critically endangered” in the wild, their number have dramatically reduced due to poisoning of carcasses by poachers and use in the muti trade. Rescue birds that are brought to VulPro are treated and assessed for release. Some birds cannot return to the wild due to injuries such as loss of a wing etc. and these birds are cared for for the rest of their lives at VulPro. These birds will breed and provide young vultures which can the be released to bolster the wild population.
GCT have paid half of the cost, £3,000, for the construction of the enclosure and the rest will be paid on completion. Work is due to start in October/November to avoid disturbing other breeding vultures at the centre.
Please help us raise the remainder of the cost by buying a wristband or making a donation. All funds received will go toward this project!
Latest News from VulPro
Two captive bred Cape vulture chicks have now been released at Vulpro, South Africa. The birds are fitted with GSM-GPS tracking devices donated by Gauntlet Conservation Trust. The birds whereabouts will be recorded as part of a study into captive bred bird releases.
For more info watch VulPro You Tube video.
Visit to VulPro
While in South Africa Graham visited Vulpro to donate a cheque for over £4000 to Kerri, the founder of Vulpro. This is for the purchase of two tracking devices which will be attached to two captive bred birds on their release. The data from the released birds will be used for future conservation work. We will update the website with tracking data when the birds have been released.
Graham's Conservation Trip to Africa
Graham is back from his South Africa conservation trip. This year the team managed to wing tag and take data from over 100 baby vultures. The data collected will help officials record and keep an eye on the movement of these birds.
Sadly vultures are still dying due to poachers poisoning the water holes with cyanide as well as killing other animals.
Kestrel Boxes with Barclays Bank
The Kestrel, the iconic bird often seen hovering over road side verges, is on the decline. Numbers have been dropping since the 1970s, and it is now on the Amber list for Species of European Conservation Concern.
To help boost numbers Gauntlet Conservation Trust has embarked on a nesting box program. On Wednesday 7th October we were joined by a team of volunteers from Barclays Bank to construct 10 boxes. The boxes will be installed in the local area, Cheshire, and monitored for nesting activity in the Spring time.
A huge "Thank you" to Barclays Bank for sponsoring this project and to the team who joined us at Knutsford.
Vulture Awareness Day - 5th September 2015
The International Vulture Awareness Day has grown from Vulture Awareness Days run by the Birds of Prey Programme in South Africa and the Hawk Conservancy Trust in England, who decided to work together and expand the initiative into an international event.
It is now recognised that a co-ordinated international day will publicise the conservation of vultures to a wider audience and highlight the important work being carried out by the world’s vulture conservationists.
Here in Knutsford the event was supported by Gauntlet Birds of Prey Centre and the Trust to raise funds for vulture conservation. Events on the day included a Prize draw, cake stall, and concluded with"big" vulture feeding!