Birds of Prey are globally prioritized as a conservation concern because they occupy the highest terrestrial trophic levels, occur in some of the lowest densities, have very low reproductive rates and suffer from numerous indirect and direct threats including pesticides, electrocutions, collisions, traffic accidents, extermination, and loss of habitat.
In Kenya, six species of vultures are classed as Critically Endangered. Many other raptors are soon to be up-listed to that category, a status that demands our intervention to save them from extinction. Many of our raptors now occur only in protected areas.
In many parts of the world birds of prey are cherished and recognized as one of the most charismatic elements of all wildlife. In East Africa, they may be protected but they are, in general, heavily persecuted.
Unfortunately for a great many species of raptors, the protected areas in which they presently occur are too small, highly threatened, and increasingly encroached, and therefore their future inside these small protected areas depends upon the tolerance of the neighbouring people. For raptors to survive, humans must become more tolerant and appreciative of their value.
More than ever we need pro-active, innovative and courageous strategies to protect raptors in the future.