Conservation Evidence strives to be as useful to conservationists as possible. Please take our survey to help the team improve our resource.

Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Evidence that vulture restaurants increase the local abundance of mammalian carnivores in South Africa

Published source details

Yarnell R.W., Phipps W.L., Dell S., MacTavish L.M. & Scott D.M. (2015) Evidence that vulture restaurants increase the local abundance of mammalian carnivores in South Africa. African Journal of Ecology, 53, 287-294


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide supplementary food to increase reproduction/survival Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A before-and-after, site comparison study in 2007–2013 of a conservation park and a game park in South Africa (Yarnell et al. 2015) found that when carrion was provided at a vulture feeding station, there were more brown hyaena Hyaena brunnea and black-backed jackal Canis mesomelas scats in that area. At the vulture station site, there were more hyaena scats in the final year of carrion provision (5.0 scats/km) than before carrion provision (2.6 scats/km) and over the two years after carrion provision ceased (1.5–2.0 scats/km). Scat counts remained more stable over this period at a site without a vulture feeding station (3.2–4.3 scats/km). Similarly, there were more jackal scats at the vulture feeding station in the final year of carrion provision (3.3 scats/km) than before (0.5 scats/km) or over two years after (1.5–2.0 scats/km) carrion provision. Scat counts remained low (0.2–1.4 scats/km) at a site without a vulture feeding station. A vulture restaurant was operated at a conservation park from March 2008 to August 2011. Predator density at this park, and on a game park where carrion was not provided, was monitored by annual scat transects from 2007–2013.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)