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Scott, Teague – Movement Ecology of the White-headed Vulture and the White-backed Vulture in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique

Africa’s vultures are facing a conservation crisis; seven of the continent’s eleven species are classified as either endangered or critically endangered. These scavengers provide crucial ecosystem services through nutrient cycling, reducing disease transmission and leading other scavengers to carrion. While Gorongosa National Park is designated a vulture stronghold, little is known about its five resident species.

Movement studies are valuable in conservation planning because they provide an understanding of species’ range size and habitat use. There are currently no published analyses of White-headed Vulture movement. I am using movement data to study how White-headed Vultures utilize the park’s landscape and to identify patterns in daily and seasonal habitat use. I am also investigating shifts in White-backed Vulture foraging range during incubation and nest provisioning to understand the effects of season and carrion biomass and condition on dietary resource selection.