Majestic birds of prey are dying senseless, excruciating deaths. Iconic species of birds around the globe are at risk of being wiped out. Threats including habitat loss, poisoning, local superstitions, razor wire, traditional ‘medicines’ and climate change. These iconic animals could disappear from our skies altogether. Join us today and give threatened owls, hawks, eagles, falcons, vultures and kites a fighting chance. Please, can we count on you today to help us take urgent action to change this tragic situation?
Birds of prey are in terrible trouble! Numbers have dropped by 40 percent!
Being trapped in wire leads to a slow death for birds of prey.
The latest research (published in the journal Biological Conservation, was led by biologists at The Peregrine Fund and in collaboration with nine scientific organizations ) is the first to focus specifically on the status of raptors. An analysis of all 557 raptor species led biologists to the shocking conclusion that 18 percent of these birds are threatened with extinction and 52 percent have declining global populations, making them more threatened than all other birds.
We are changing this dreadful situation and need your help. To begin, my team met with an organization called the Owl Orphanage in St. Helena Bay, South Africa, run by Jacques Nel. Jacques started the haven because of the desperate need – the drastic increase in injuries and horrific cases.
According to Jacques, among the most common issues he encounters is poisoning – a result of misguided superstitions about raptors.
In some local communities, owls are viewed as evil omens who bring bad luck, illness, or death to a family. These poor birds are often mercilessly killed by either ripping their heads from their bodies or stoned and kicked to death. Also, their body parts, feathers and blood are used by witch doctors for making a medicinal potion called muti, believed to protect an individual by warding off unwanted spirits.
Another terrible cause of indiscriminate raptor death is rat poison, commonly used in low-income communities to help keep rodent numbers at bay – unfortunately with severe ramifications for raptors. Birds often eat the poison and by the time they begin to show symptoms of poisoning, it is generally too late. After ingestion, the effects – disorientation, inability to fly and internal haemorrhaging – will typically be apparent for three to four days. Death is slow and agonizing.
It can take 14 excruciatingly painful days for a poisoned bird to die!
Wire fences are deadly traps for owls and other birds. Once trapped, their lives will soon end in unbelievable pain.
The Owl Orphanage houses between 10 to 15 owls throughout the year, with this number sharply rising to 30 to 40 owls from July to March. It is during this peak breeding season that Jacques can rescue up to five owls in one day!
More chronic cases of critically injured and poisoned adult owls have led to a shocking increase in the number of owl chicks being rescued – without Jacques, these orphaned and injured owls would have little hope of surviving and have nowhere else to go. The Owl Orphanage is the only place in this area to look after these owls, and they are have asked us for help. All the birds who come to the haven are rehabilitated and, once ready, safely released back into the wild.
We need your help to protect these birds from possible extinction.
It is only with your help and vitally important donation that we can start our essential work. One of the urgent things the orphanage needs is another aviary to accommodate the increasing number of rescued birds.
Please, will you join us in raising the $7,000 (£5,000) needed to help build the rehabilitation aviary? The expansion project will enable more rescues, rehabilitations and release of distressed and suffering birds. It will also improve the breeding potential of recovered birds and increase populations in this area.