Right this moment we rejoice World Wildlife Day! This yr, the main focus of at the present time is the restoration of key species for ecosystem restoration. Key species carry out particular capabilities of their ecosystem, serving to maintain it along with their giant influence. You may need heard the saying ‘Cut back, Reuse, Recycle’. This inexperienced motto doesn’t simply apply to people. Within the wild, we discover that this slogan involves life in a singular manner with nature’s recyclers – the scavengers and decomposers. So, in honor of World Wildlife Day, this publish will concentrate on a key species in a majority of the world’s habitats, considered one of nature’s most useful clean-up crews, the vulture.
The Zoo is house to 4 completely different species representing each vulture households, Accipitridae (Previous World vultures) and Cathartidae (New World vultures). Previous World vultures include16 species of vulture and are represented at our Zoo by the lappet-faced vulture and the Ruppel’s vulture. New World vultures embrace 5 vultures and two condor species and are represented by the Andean condor and black vultures at our Zoo.
Lined with black feathers, a naked black head, and white wing ideas; black vultures soar by the skies of japanese North America, Central America, and South America. With their broad wings and a brief tail, this scavenger is often confused with its cousin, the turkey vulture. As social birds, they’re uniquely loyal to their households; sharing meals with kinfolk and their younger. These birds are recognized for selecting aside carcasses and recycling lifeless supplies again into the ecosystem. Black vultures will comply with turkey vultures to animal stays, demonstrating their uncommonly accute sense of odor (most birds have little to no sense of odor). In Ohio, we are able to search the sky to seek out these birds hovering and circling above their subsequent meal. By feeding on lifeless animals, they play a significant position within the ecosystem by cleansing up undesirable particles, recycling vitamins again into the soil, and lowering ailments that might unfold from carcasses. With out nature’s clean-up crew, the world can be a smelly and soiled place.
Right here on the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Backyard, our Chicken Encounter program is house to 2 black vultures, Boris and Bernard. Though within the wild black vultures have a mean lifespan of round 25 years outdated, in human care they will dwell to be even older. Boris, our older black vulture is proof of this at 30 years outdated. Bernard, our different black vulture remains to be younger at solely 5 years of age. These birds are animal ambassadors for the Cincinnati Zoo, introducing individuals to their species and educating them on the challenges they face and alternatives to help their wild counterparts. Though black vultures are listed by IUCN as Least Concern there are a number of comparable species of vultures such because the white-backed vulture, Indian vulture, and hooded vulture which might be at the moment listed at critically endangered.
One of many methods the Cincinnati Zoo contributes to the conservation of vultures is thru Behind the Scenes visits to Fiona and Hippo Cove. Whereas this will likely seem to be an odd pairing, Previous World vultures share habitat with Nile hippos within the wild and, by pairing hippo encounters with vulture conservation, the Zoo ensures that VulPro, a number one vulture conservation group, can take measures to guard these birds to allow them to carry out the important thing ecosystem providers essential to assist their shared habitat. You’ll be able to present your help for these birds and different wildlife by visiting the Ameritas Wings of Surprise Chicken Expertise on the Zoo and by participating in a Behind-the-Scenes Hippo Tour, You can even be a key species in your surroundings, just like the vulture, this World Wildlife Day by pondering like black vultures. Decreasing waste by utilizing reusable water bottles, recirculating supplies into the surroundings by composting your leftover meals, and recycling vitamins to offer for and restore the ecosystem. After we all do our half to be good stewards of nature, we are able to make each day World Wildlife Day.