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Ms. Wolter and Mr. Neser meet regularly with Namibian farmers, trying to persuade them to stop using poison. Conservationists acknowledge the expense and labor costs of alternatives, such as bringing cattle into enclosures at night, when predators strike.

“The situation where we are is, no, it is not safe right now to reintroduce vultures into Namibia,” Ms. Wolter said.

They plan to start slowly, reintroducing vultures into a Namibian nature reserve, though they realize it will be difficult to keep the birds from ranging far in search of food and perhaps finding poisoned offerings.

“They can easily travel [nearly 200 miles] to go and feed and come back in the same day,” Mr. Neser said.

Vultures can fly into Namibia from South Africa. Poisoning is not as widespread in South Africa, but the country is more crowded and developed, creating other problems for the birds.

Good Samaritans regularly bring injured vultures to Ms. Wolter and Mr. Neser. Those that can be rehabilitated are released back into the wild.

Some South Africans believe the birds are clairvoyant and kill them to use their body parts for talismans.