Woodland Park Zoo hosts International Vulture Awareness Day on from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. It’s included in zoo admission.
Photo by Dennis Dow, Woodland Park Zoo.
Vultures are scavenging birds that help recycle and prevent the spread of disease. Woodland Park Zoo is home to the turkey vulture, a species that ranges from southern Canada to South America. Turkey vulture numbers declined in the 1950s and 1960s, most likely due to the mistaken belief that they spread diseases. Shooting and poisoned baits often targeted these useful birds. Populations have increased in recent years, due to less persecution and safer use of pesticides. Contaminants and habitat loss continue to threaten other vulture species, particularly in southern Asia, where some species have been nearly forced to extinction.
International Vulture Awareness Day includes a talk about vultures at 10:30 a.m. and again at 3:30 p.m., a special raptor flight program at 11:30 a.m. and again at 2:30 p.m., Olympic Vulture Study display with guest biologist Diann MacRae from 12-3 p.m., and games and activities from 12:30-2 p.m. All special activities are at the Raptor Center.