SAFRING longevity and movement records for southern African vultures (subfamilies Aegypiinae and Gypaetinae)§
Longevity and displacement records aid in the understanding of animal senescence and the possible range of a species. Within wild populations this information is infrequent with most longevity reports being based on captive individuals and displacements being calculated from few monitored individuals within the population. Ringing offers a means of calculating these values and for avian species SAFRING and other bird ringing schemes are critically important. As many vulture populations are under threat, it has become ever more important to analyse all aspects of their demography to understand what can be done to aid the conservation of these species. Southern Africa’s eight vulture species are almost all listed as globally threatened and as a result many studies incorporate this ringing information. This has allowed for longevity records to be calculated for most of the species with the Cape Vulture obtaining the greatest reported longevity of 31 years 2 months and 14 days. In addition to the longevity records, ringing also produces maximum displacement records with the greatest vulture displacement being 2 530 km (White-backed Vulture). Although vulture ringing effort has improved in recent years very few new longevity records appear to be produced with most recent recoveries being under 10 years.
Keywords: Accipitridae, bird ringing, displacement, senescence