Our first vulture ambassador has a name! Aura was named in reference to the scientific name for Turkey Vultures, “Cathartes aura,” through a community naming contest. “Cathartes aura” roughly translates to “cleansing breeze” which refers to their important roles as scavengers. Through scavenging on carcasses, vultures help reduce the spread of disease and the smell of rotting carcasses while they’re at it.
Although Turkey Vultures are expanding their range, many other vulture species around the world are declining. Aura will help us teach audiences about the value of vultures as nature’s clean up crew. This is TRC’s first ever vulture ambassador and we can’t wait to have her engage with students and program participants.
Fun fact: Aura’s wingspan is over 5 feet wide, and she weighs about 4.5 pounds!