These large vultures have been found dead next to a rotting sheep and the remains of a fox after reportedly being poisoned by a highly toxic pesticide amid fears the chemicals may now kill humans.
The Andean condors (Vultur gryphus), considered near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), were found in a field outside the city of Perito Moreno in the southern Argentine province of Santa Cruz after apparently being killed by a potent pesticide, according to the Andean Condor Conservation Programme (PCCA).
According to reports, the New World vultures were found in a small area next to a rotting sheep and the remains of a fox, and the local authorities suspect poisoning as the cause of death.
Local media said that the area has been cleared of the animals’ decomposing bodies for health reasons and to prevent other cases of poisoning.
According to the PCCA, tests on the animals’ remains indicate that they were poisoned by Carbofuran, a highly toxic carbamate pesticide.
The same organisation said that 10 condors were killed by Carbofuran in the same area “less than a year ago”.
The PCCA also claimed that the “the municipality declared an environmental and health emergency after the death of over 60 poisoned dogs in the city” last month.
The group said on social media: “Unfortunately, some residents use poison to control large carnivores such as pumas, foxes or dogs.
“This not only kills the scavengers, responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the area, but it also contaminates the soil and water, and risks the lives of all animals, including humans.”
It is unclear whether the local authorities are investigating the incident.
According to the Bioandina Argentina Foundation, more than 100 condors have been poisoned to death in the country in the space of just over a year.
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Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
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