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Thomson, N., Stehn, H. and Bridgeford, P. 2012. The Dordabis Vultures Eat Poisonous Plants! Lanioturdus, 45(3): 2-5


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The Dordabis Vultures Eat Poisonous Plants!

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In the course of a visit to family Stehn on Farm Smalhoek some 30 km south east of Dordabis for a few days after Christmas inrn2010, HS mentioned to NT that he had observed a group of White-backed Vultures eating plant material. The incident had occurred probably in late 2005 or early 2006 when HS had seen a grouprnof about twenty to thirty White-backed Vultures on the ground eating the leaves one of the "slangkop" species. These birdsrnthereafter regurgitated what appeared to be largely hair. HS identified the plant as Pseudogaltonia clavata (previously Lindneria clavata). There was no carcass to be seen anywhere in the immediate vicinity. Some sources maintain that P clavata is a poisonous plant causing, inter alia, diarrhoea, dehydration, hind quarter lameness, bloat and heart attack in livestock while other sources report that especially the leaves are eaten byrngame and livestock without negative effects. HS advised that the latter was also his personal observation having observed cattle eating small quantities of the green leaves and also dry leaves after the first frost in some years.

Year: 2012

Type: Journal Article

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