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Wing tags severely impair flight in African Cape Vultures


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Conservationists who apply wing tags for identifying Cape Vultures—a species of African vulture that is vulnerable to extinction—are putting the birds' lives further at risk, a new movement ecology study has shown. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior in Germany and VulPro NPC in South Africa have demonstrated that Cape Vultures fitted with tags on their wings traveled shorter distances and flew slower than those fitted with bands around their legs. The research emphasizes the importance of investigating the effects that tagging methods can have on the behavior and conservation of species, prompting a shift towards the less invasive method of leg bands in the future study of Cape Vultures.

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