Lindy J Thompson

Lindy Thompson

Lindy J Thompson

BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences (Zoology) , University of Edinburgh (UK).

MSc Wildlife Management and Conservation, University of Reading (UK).

PhD Ecology, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

 Extraordinary lecturer. Department: Dept. of Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science.

Research Sub-theme

Wildlife health, production and food security

Transfrontier conservation areas and the interaction of wildlife and domestic animals, humans and ecosystems

Vultures provide vital ecosystem services, including nutrient cycling and removing carcasses from the landscape, and they have great cultural importance. Despite their ecological importance, we are currently in the midst of an ‘African Vulture Crisis’, with vulture populations declining across Africa for various anthropogenic reasons. Given these rapid population declines, and their important role as keystone species, it is important to investigate vultures’ health status and fitness, and to quantify their abilities to help facilitate or prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases, within a One Health context. To further understand the threats that vultures and other birds of prey face in South Africa, it is important to evaluate the reasons for their admittance to our numerous avian rehabilitation centres, and their post-release success rate, as well to quantify the monitoring and surveillance role of these centres in terms of wildlife diseases. I will be working with Associate Professor Darrell Abernethy on these projects.

Research Projects


Raptor health (with a focus on vultures):

  • Understanding raptor fitness, parasite load, and pathogen prevalence at various sites in South Africa.

Reasons for raptor admittance to avian rehabilitation centres:

  • Establishing causes of mortality in South Africa’s raptor assemblage.
  • Understanding post-release success rates.
  • Creating a best-practice methodology, in terms of data such centres could record to assist with disease surveillance.
Published by Linda Poggenpoel

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