The first Saturday in September is International Vulture Awareness Day!
There are 23 species of vultures in the world, and all of them form a vital link in the food chain. By cleaning up carcasses, vultures help break down nutrients to return to the soil, and can dramatically reduce the spread of disease.
Featherless heads aren’t just a fashion statement! Bare skin is easier to keep clean, an important feature for animals that stick their beaks into carcasses all day. Vultures also have stomachs of steel in order to safely digest their food.
In the United States, today is a day to celebrate the conservation success of the California Condor, which was extinct in the wild as little as 30 years ago, but now has a growing population of over 400 birds in California and Arizona.
The California Condor still has a long way to go, and many other species of vulture worldwide are endangered. These majestic birds need the help of humans who can appreciate the vital services they perform for our planet!
You can learn more about international vulture conservation at the IVAD Website.