Cover: Lappet-faced (Torgos tracheliotus), Rüppell's (Gyps rueppellii), and White-backed (Gyps africanus) Vultures feeding on the carcass of a Grant's gazelle (Gazella granti) recently killed by a cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia, Kenya (October 2010). Vultures (Accipitridae and Cathartidae) are the only known obligate scavengers. On pages 453-460, Ogada et al. present evidence that effects of decreases in abundances of vultures may include longer persistence of carcasses and increasing abundance of and contact among facultative scavengers at these carcasses. Such changes could increase rates of transmission of infectious diseases among mammalian carnivores, with carcasses serving as hubs of infection. Cover image © 2012 Tui De Roy.
Photographer: Tui De Roy (http://www.tuideroy.com) is a founding fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Her work has been published in over 30 countries. She has authored 14 large-format natural history books on the Galápagos Islands, Andes, Antarctica, New Zealand, and the world's albatrosses and is producing a volume on penguins. Tui founded Th e Roving Tortoise Nature Photography (http://www.rovingtortoise.co.nz) in partnership with Mark Jones. She has spent most of her life in the Galápagos Islands, is a former member of the board of directors of the Charles Darwin Foundation, and works in close association with Galápagos National Park to document the islands' landscapes and their rare species. Tui currently lives in New Zealand, where she is patron of the New Zealand chapter of Friends of Galapagos.