International Vulture Awareness Day
Also known as
Turkey Vulture Day
the first Saturday in September (since 2006)
International Vulture Awareness Day "aims to create awareness about vultures as a whole, garner support among the public about the plight of vultures globally and highlight the work done by conservationists to protect these birds and their habitats." It was started by the coming together of the Endangered Wildlife Trust's Birds of Prey Programme in South Africa, and the Hawk Conservancy Trust in England, both of whom had previously had their own vulture awareness days, and wanted to work together to create an international event. In 2016, 164 groups participated in the day, representing 47 countries.
Vultures are vitally important to ecosystems, cleaning up carcasses and other garbage, which helps stop the spread of diseases to domestic and wild animals, and to humans. Many species are listed as being critically endangered, and face extinction. Vultures travel great distances, and all countries within their range need to help to fight their extinction. The Multi-species Action Plan to Conserve African-Eurasian Vultures has details of how to bring back the vulture population to acceptable levels by 2029. Within the geographic range of the plan lie 128 countries, which may use the plan as a guide for their own countries' plans.
How to Observe International Vulture Awareness Day
The day should be celebrated by raising awareness for vultures. There are activities around the world that you could participate in. If you would like to plan and organize activities for the day, you can sign up at the International Vulture Awareness Day website. The website also includes resources related to vultures, including games and coloring pages of different species of vultures.