VulPro vulture centre is urgently looking for Raffian Palm fruit to feed the rare Palm-nut vulture chick in their care.

The Palm-nut vulture chick at VulPro

These vultures mostly occur on coastlines across Africa and feed primarily on the husks of these palm fruits but will supplement this vegetarian diet with crabs, fish and a variety of other scavenged food.

VulPro has three adults and a chick in its care. “It is a sad story. The adults were wild birds caught in Tanzania and landed in the animal trade. It is not easy to release them as DNA tests will first have to be done to see if it is the same species that occur on South Africa’s coastline,” says Kerri Wolter, founder of VulPro.

A chick was born at VulPro and is almost ready to fledge. VulPro is urgently looking for the Raffia palm fruit to feed the chick, as well as the adults.

Raffia palm fruit

“We hope someone, or a nursery, might have Raffia Palms and can assist us.”
Wolter said there is no data anywhere about the growth rate of this vulture. Sighting of these vultures are rare The palm-nut vulture or vulturine fish eagle, is a large bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It is the only member of the genus Gypohierax. This bird is an Old World vulture. It breeds in forest and savannah across sub-Saharan Africa, usually near water, its range coinciding with that of the oil and Raffia palms. Raffia palms (Raphia) are a genus of about twenty species of palms native to tropical regions of Africa, and especially Madagascar.

If you can assist, or know where Raffia palm fruit can be found, contact Kerri on 082 808 5113.

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