The “Bred 4 the Wild” Bearded Vulture Breeding Programme is a collaborative conservation effort between governments, the formal conservation sector, corporates and private specialists to save this critically endangered species from extinction.

It is estimated that less than 350 of these magnificent birds remain, living high up in the Drakensberg mountains that serrate the border between Lesotho and South Africa. Breeding just once a year in winter, the elusive pairs lay two eggs, but only raise one chick. The challenging aim of our project is to harvest 32 eggs from the cliff-face nests to hatch and raise in our specialised breeding center. This founder group will form a genetic reserve and their progeny will be released to supplement the dwindling population in the wild.


Programme Manager: Shannon Hoffman

Mobile +27 (0)82 925 3023

Facebook: Bred 4 the Wild

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The PROGRAMME PURPOSE is to build and maintain an ex-situ genetic reserve,

and to supplement the existing in-situ population or restore populations where extinct.

Strategic Objectives (SOs)

Programme management for efficiency, impact and sustainability

Establish a genetically viable captive founder group of 20 - 30 unrelated birds

Paired bearded vultures producing chicks annually

Manage breeding pairs to mitigate risk of natural disaster

Release progeny of captive birds to supplement the wild population

Stakeholder engagement to mitigate threats to wild population