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Which EDGE species will you vote for : The red-headed vulture or the Egyptian vulture? (Poll)

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 9 Jun 2021.

?

which species will you vote for ?

Poll closed 16 Jun 2021.
  1. red-headed vulture

    35.3%
  2. Egyptian vulture

    64.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    The tenth and final poll on EDGE bird species: This time it is a contest between two vultures that have faced sharp and worrying declines in recent : The Egyptian vulture and the red headed vulture.

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    Both species are threatened with extinction due to deliberate poisoning, poaching and the use of the veterinary drug Diclofenac on livestock.

    Which of these bird species interests you most / will you vote for ?

    Please also feel free to write comments regarding why you made the choice and why the species you have voted for interests you more.

    Thanks !

    Look forward to seeing the results!



    Photo credits to @Therabu and @Malayan Tapir
     
  2. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    Egyptian for me; so distinctive, and a tool-user as well. And yes, I’ve seen it in the wild, but not for many years.
     
  3. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Red-headed vulture as being the most critically endangered vulture and its population is still decreasing.

    Egyptian vulture on the other hand is in the endangered category.
     
  4. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    My vote goes to the red-headed vulture (which I still think of as the Pondicherry vulture) because it is critically endangered.
     
  5. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for commenting and voting @Tim May !

    The pondicherry vulture, I never knew that this was another name for it but its quite a charming sounding one.
     
  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for voting and your comment @Kifaru Bwana !

    Yes, definitely the red-headed vulture is in a very bad way at the moment and I really don't know why diclofenac continues to be used and sold in India when there is a viable alternative with meloxicam.
     
  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for voting and your comment @Tetzoo Quizzer !

    Yes, I agree with you on that, it is a very distinctive and interesting bird indeed.

    Thats great that you've seen it in the wild and this time around I can also say that I've one in the wild too :p (in Spain).
     
  8. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

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    I vote for the Egyptian Vulture.
    It lives on 3 continents, so its conservation involves tens of countries including mine (small populations persist in Southern France, where conservation actions have led to some success in last years).
    And it's a distinctive species, with a significant role in several cultures, including the Ancient Egyptian one.
    Its biology is interesting, with some unusual behaviours (like the use of rocks to break ostrich eggs in tropical Africa).
     
  9. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your comment and voting @Haliaeetus !

    Thats an interesting comment, you are absolutely right, if the species is to persist in the wild conservation efforts will indeed have to be multilateral (also glad to hear that things are looking a bit more positive for the vulture in France).

    Yes, I think that is why I voted for this species too, I've been fascinated by this bird since I was a child when I saw footage of the vulture using stones to break an ostrich egg and it was wonderful to finally see one in the wild in Spain.

    Once again you are absolutely right about it being a culturally significant bird for ancient civilizations like Ancient Egypt (I think there was even an Egyptian vulture heiroglyph) and those of the Near-East, however, I would add that it still is a culturally important animal even in parts of Europe today.

    A little while ago on my thread on animals in folklore I wrote a bit about the cultural significance of the Egyptian vulture on some islands in Greece, I'll copy and paste a bit of info here as it is quite interesting to think that the significance for humans continues into present times:

    In Greece the Egyptian vulture is a species that is generally viewed positively in stark contrast to other species such as the griffon's vulture.

    In rural Greece there is an expression to describe a beautiful fair skinned girl "She is white like an Egyptian vulture".
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    This bird is strongly associated with and emblematic of the arrival of Spring on many Greek islands.

    An unusual belief that the cuckoo rides upon the back of the vulture in its migratory journey from Africa to Europe gives the vulture one of its common names "The cuckoo's horse":

    "In Epirus people call Egyptian vultures "cuckoo’s horses" believing that they carry lazy cuckoos from Africa on their backs in the spring. The first sight of Egyptian vultures is a good omen regarding good health, success, and productivity in several areas."

    The vulture is also known as the "cheesemaker" because of its habit of frequenting dairy farms and therefore has been associated for millenia with cheesemakers.

    However as the bird itself has begun to decline on many Greek islands so has the rich folklore that once existed about the species:

    "The current shrinking range of the Egyptian vulture in mainland Greece is followed by a decline in the use of its local names, particularly outside rural societies."



    Photo credits to @Jogy.

    Source: "Bound Eagles, Evil Vultures and Cuckoo Horses. Preserving the Bio-Cultural Diversity of Carrion Eating Birds.", Kalliopi Stara et al, 2016 (Journal: Human Ecology).
     
    Last edited: 9 Jun 2021
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  10. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't make a list of all the folklore surrounding the Egyptian Vulture, but I add that in South-Western France this bird is locally called "Marie-Blanque" (White Mary), and gave its name to a mountain pass ("Col de Marie-Blanque").
    This pass is famous for the cyclists, especially during the Tour de France, the most famous cyclist race in the country, that takes place in the summer.
     
  11. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Wow !

    This is very interesting and I had no idea about this significance in France so thank you for sharing that !

    I'm really curious, do you know why this bird has that folkloric name of "Mary" ?
     
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  12. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Some spectacular footage from the BBC of red-headed vultures and their competitors at a carcass:

     
  13. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    And amazing news that a vagrant Egyptian Vulture is on the Isles of Scilly this morning!
     
  14. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Wow ! That really is a vagrant vulture to have ended up so far from Southern Europe / North Africa.
     
  15. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    First British record since 1868!
    (Although there have been unconfirmed claims this century)
     
  16. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    How long do you think it will stick around the island ?
     
  17. Tetzoo Quizzer

    Tetzoo Quizzer Well-Known Member

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    Other vagrant birds of prey on the islands (such as Lesser Kestrel and Short-toed Eagle) have stayed for a few days... Previous Egyptian Vultures from the age of “what is hit is history” have tended to stay permanently!
     
  18. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Well lets hope that this one doesn't stay permanently and somehow finds its way back to its natural range, fingers crossed .
     
  19. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Looks like the Egyptian vulture won this poll so here is a video of this incredible raptor doing its most famous egg cracking trick to celebrate its victory :




    Thanks everyone for voting and commenting !