I bet that’s not a headline you could have predicted. Me either! I was surprised to read a story about USAID outfitting city vultures with GPS and cameras to try to track urban dumping.

Yes, really

Knowing USAID as I do, I read between the lines of the story a lot of “we could do this” with the data, and “we’ll see XYZ with the program.” That is, there’s a lot of talk of the future and these possible things that may come of it. There’s so much pressure for results in that culture – yes, results are necessary, but the people responsible for them always seem to see Oz at the end of the road they are on, instead of the poppy fields, flying monkeys and wicked witches in between. And the commercial linked in the story is… well, I’ll let you decide what it is.

But what does seem to have already happened is social interest, and a higher opinion of vultures. Well, why not? Vultures are an important part of ecosystems, they perform a service, and their little chin waddles are almost cute. Not like mosquitos, for example, who have nothing cute and only dastardliness about them. Up with vultures!