Draft Multi-Species Biodiversity Management Plan

For your information and possible inputs to Custodians’ comments, herewith a copy of the draft Multi-Species Biodiversity Management Plan which was originally published/gazetted on 02 December 2022 for submission of comments.  The deadline for submission of comments has since been extended to 28 February 2023 (see attached extension notice).

::: Please forward any proposed comments you might have, to Adri at ceo@cphc-sa.co.za by latest 15 February 2023

The BMP’s Executive Summary is published on page 14 of 118 of the attached BMP (GG page number 131), reads as follows:

Vultures play a crucial role in the environments in which they live, and it is for this reason that they are also known as nature’s clean-up crew. That is, they do the dirty work of cleaning up after animals die, helping to keep ecosystems healthy as they act as natural carcass recyclers.

On the African continent, vulture populations have declined considerably in most range states over the last 30 years. The lack of collective and decisive action has ensured these declines are continuing on a continental scale, to which South Africa is not unique.  South Africa is home to nine vulture species, seven of which have established breeding populations, and these vulture populations continue to face varying degrees of threats of extinction.  This continued decline and extinction risk supports the need for a Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for South Africa’s vulture populations, without which it is highly probable that a number of species will become extinct in the not too distant future.  This BMP was developed through a consultative process with various stakeholder engagements, including that of the drafting team that was established specifically to develop this BMP.

This BMP envisages healthy growing vulture populations in South Africa, fulfilling their essential ecosystem services through the achievement of a safe and secure environment in which all the components of a vulture’s life cycle are fulfilled.  This will be achieved through the reduction of the key threats facing the species (intentional and unintentional poisoning, interactions with energy infrastructure, habitat change), the improvement of stakeholder involvement, improving knowledge gaps and developing best practice guidelines for ex situ conservation action.

The BMP will ensure co-ordinated conservation action amongst all vulture stakeholders and will enable an environment of improved communication, access to resources and ensuring responsibilities are actioned accordingly through the implementation of this BMP. The BMP provides the framework for South Africa to fulfil the obligations required within the CMS Multi-Species Action Plan for Vultures.