Dr. Gerhard Verdoorn
Poisoning / Vulture Heritage Project
“Conservation is an attitude that should be the core and essence of every member of SA Hunters. Members often think that they should be actively busy with conservation, but their own conduct in the veld surrounded by wild animals and plants is the place where true conservation occurs. Treat everything that lives, the soil, and the water with utmost care. Only use what is necessary and leave the rest for tomorrow.”
Dr Verdoorn is a former president of SA Hunters and Game Conservation Association. He also served in the portfolio of vice president for conservation matters, was a member of the management committee for 16 years, and later on the Board of SA Hunters. His involvement with conservation started in 1987 with his studies of the Cape Vulture and the Verreaux’s Eagle in the Magaliesberg. For 25 years, Gerhard was involved with conservation of vultures, birds of prey, blue cranes, predators, and anti-poison campaigns with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), Bird Life South Africa, and SA Hunters. For the past 20 years, he has been running the Griffon Poison Information Centre as an emergency service for poison incidents. He is also involved with the University of Stellenbosch’s Department of Pharmacology dealing with aspects on environmental toxins.
His biggest passion remains the conservation of birds of prey, vultures, and predators. As a member of the conservation committee, it makes him happy to be involved with vulture conservation projects. Gerhard believes that SA Hunters should collaborate with other institutions to reach its conservation objectives. There are numerous actions for members to contribute towards conservation, i.e., switching to monolithic ammunition for hunting purposes, especially in areas where vultures occur. Gerhard already went that route and hunt regularly in the Karoo, Kalahari, and Bushveld, mostly towards managing and maintaining stable populations.