No longer are vultures to be depicted as heartless, hungry scavengers circling the lost traveler in the desert. The people at Gallinazo Avisa, or Vultures Warn, are giving vultures quite a PR boost by using the birds to find concentrated garbage piles in Lima, Peru. Seen as the first line of investigators bold enough to take on the task of finding the spots most soiled by human rubbish, vultures are no longer considered dirty scoundrels, but rather heroic saviors.

Gallinazo Avisa’s promotional video, which cheekily speaks from the point of view of the winged helpers, outlines how much of a resource the local vulture population actually is. The team equipped ten of the birds with GoPro cameras and GPS tracking capabilities so that they and the public can follow their travels across the city. The U.S. Agency for International Development and Peru’s Ministry of Environment assisted with the project’s launch.

Related: The Biomimicry Manual: What can vultures teach us about sterilization and specialization?

Once a concentration of human trash is visited by the birds anyone watching can alert the team as to its location so folks can come to the scene and start cleaning. The campaign serves to raise awareness of the impact of our cavalier attitudes toward litter. Reminding us all that future generations will be the ones to reap what we sow, the team turns that fear and shame into action by empowering the public to do something to start to reverse the harm we have caused the planet. After all, it’s the vultures’ planet, too.

Via On Earth

Images via YouTube