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On the distribution and breeding status of the Cape Griffon Gyps coprotheres in the Eastern Cape province, South Africa

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The Cape Griffon Gyps coprotheres, a southern African endemic, is considered to have undergone an overall decrease in range and numbers. To track the species' status, and to evaluate the impacts of conservation actions, it is periodically necessary to determine spatial and temporal patterns and trends in its population. Such information is provided for its Eastern Cape province, South Africa, population for the 2000–2007 period. Its range in this region is similar to that in the 1987–1992 period. The historical and current status of 143 roost sites and breeding colonies was established from the literature, anecdotal evidence or fieldwork. The western part of the province was, and still is, predominantly a foraging area. All currently active colonies are in the eastern part and within or close to communal farming areas. Of the historical sites in the western part, 76% are now inactive and most of the active sites are but seasonal/occasional roosts. Nearly half of former roosts are now inactive and 39% of former colonies have become inactive, or roost sites. The majority of colonies are small (<21 active nests). A minimum of 630 breeding pairs exists. The theoretical circumstances of the main findings are briefly discussed. The future existence of the species in the province is considered to be precarious.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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