Although vulture feeding stations are a widely used tool for vulture conservation in many regions worldwide, there has been some confusion about their functions and this is reflected in the range of terminology used. The origin of food supply at provisioning sites (both for in situ and ex situ situations) and the goals of feeding station managers (ranging from purely conservation of vultures to the necessity for carcass disposal) are two key aspects that are often neglected. We review the definitions and nomenclature for the provision of predictable anthropogenic food for vultures and vultures' role in sanitation in the landscape. We propose that “supplementary feeding stations for vultures” (SFSV) defines a particular case and this term should only be applied when a station has vulture conservation goals and a food supply coming from outside of the landscape (ex situ). We introduce the term “recycling station with vultures” (RSV) for cases when the goal is the elimination of carcasses and the food is sourced in situ (natural, NRSV) or ex situ (supplementary food, SRSV). This clarification of goals and terminology for feeding stations worldwide could have important consequences for the understanding and assessment of vulture conservation and management actions, among researchers and conservationists and also importantly among stakeholders and wider society.
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Vol. 56 • No. 1