What are Egyptian vultures well-known for?Bald “ugly“ birds with “strange“ addiction to drop do not enjoy special popularity at fans of animal and ecological tourists. The heads of Egyptian vultures soiled by blood, ugly bodies and quarrelsome temper cause disgust, than admiration rather. However, as if we did not treat them whoever these birds seemed, their role in the nature is very considerable.
Ecologists sound alarm: Egyptian vultures in trouble. In India, Nepal and Pakistan for the last decade their population decreased by 95%. Position of birds in Africa is better for the little.
According to scientists, fans of drop get poisoned through the production - carcasses of the died animals, in recent years application of drugs in animal husbandry repeatedly increased. The second possible reason of a sharp decrease of population - action of the poachers who are purposefully destroying Egyptian vultures that their congestions did not involve security guards of natural grounds to the killed rhinoceroses and elephants.
Simon Tomsett (Simon Thomsett), one of the ecologists working on increase of awareness on a distress of birds and change of the relation to them of the public shared with audience of BBC some unique facts about Egyptian vultures.
1. Record weeds in the world feathery
Egyptian vultures constantly soar in height, looking out for production. They use the ascending air streams also rise very highly that allows to watch the enormous territory. The author of record flight among birds for all history of observations Ryuppel`s signature stamp is considered. In 1973 over Kot - D`Ivoir it was seen at the height of 37000 feet (11278 m). It is much higher than Everest.
Usually birds are not capable to fly so highly as in the rarefied air oxygen for breath does not suffice. “Researches of this Egyptian vulture revealed a number of features of its hemoglobin and is a little warm - vascular devices which allow to breathe in the rarefied atmosphere“, - Tomsett explains.
2. The most gluttonous in Africa
“Each tourist coming to Africa believes that main “consumers“ of wild animals are lions, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs and jackals. But it not so“, - the ecologist tells.
It gives Serengeti National Park where the lump of the fallen pasturable animals by estimates exceeds 40 million tons per year as an example. Carnivorous mammals from this figure get only 36%, the rest falls to the share of Egyptian vultures. Bacteria and larvae compete with them, but birds remain the largest consumers of drop.
Their role in ecosystems as final processors of biomass is in preventing distribution of diseases and to regulate the number of other deathbirds, such as wild dogs.
3. Space without borders
in search of food signature stamps overcome huge distances. Recently researchers described a route of one of Ryuppel`s signature stamps. From the nest in Tanzania it flew behind food to Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia.
Such behavior of birds and impudent neglect frontiers sometimes causes the international scandals. At a boundary of 2010 and 2011 into hands of the authorities of Saudi Arabia the white-headed vulture bearing on himself the GPS transmitter with marks Tel - Avivsky university fell that gave a reason for splash in a shpionomaniya.
4. Natural antisepticsby
In Turkey noted a habit of Egyptian vultures to urinate to itself on legs. Scientists suspect that such behavior is part of the hygienic actions providing protection against diseases. The acid which is present at urine can work as antiseptics, sterilizing the legs of birds which are actively contacting to the decaying flesh during feeding.
5. Electric expansionEgyptian vultures in South Africa expand with
the area along power lines, overcoming distances in thousands of kilometers. Support of the high voltage line are used by birds as vacation spot and gnezdoviya.
Nevertheless the electricity can be dangerous to birds. Besides, the high voltage lines pass through the rendered habitable regions, near places of cultivation of a livestock that does birds by more vulnerable to poisonings.
6. A variety of a diet
Usual food of Egyptian vultures - remains of dead animals. But not all signature stamps adhere to a strict meat diet. The palm signature stamp with pleasure diversifies the menu with palm nuts, a fig, fish, and sometimes and birds. In hulks he prefers to try to discover larvae and insects.
7. Strong stomachs
Bearded signature stamps - the only representatives of fauna whose diet consists for 70 - 90% from bones. Their stomachs can cope with the food inaccessible to other types.
Signature stamps are known for incredibly high level of acidity of a stomach. Their gastric juice is capable to destroy bacteria among which deadly to many other types there are causative agents of cholera and anthrax.
The organism of signature stamps also makes the antibodies helping to fight against botulism toxins. Even if the illness killed them production, Egyptian vultures can use it in food without negative consequences.
Protect Egyptian vultures!