Wildlife Conservation   >>   Vulture Conservation

Vulture Conservation Programme

Vultures are the masters of the sky and scavangers of the forest. Once an omnipresent bird and now in Critically Endangered list. Out of nine species that exist in India, four species of vultures namely, White backed Vulture, Long Billed Vulture, King Vulture, Egyptian Vulture are found in Moyar valley of Mysore-Nilgiri Corridor. From known source of information, four species of Vultures is not seen elsewhere in Tamil Nadu. Past two decades have been worst for vultures as we've lost 95% of Gyps population (Prakash et al,2000).

During the past two decades, there was a steady decline in vulture population and scientists conducted extensive research to find the cause. Main reason for the decline is attributed to the indiscriminate usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Diclofenac. Diclofenac was widely used as a pain-killer for Cattle. Hence in 2006 Govt of India banned the usage of Diclofenac for cattle. But very unfortunately the drug is largely available and administered to cattle. Diclofenac version for human use is being illegally used on livestock. This was proved by us in Project Vulture Advocacy Program supported by Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)

We've been funded by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to eliminate Diclofenac from food chain of vultures in Moyar region. During our work in the region, we found that carcass poisoning has unequivocally killed the vultures in the region. We've been campaigning aggressively in the region to free the food chain of vultures from Diclofenac and instructing the people to refrain from poisoning the cattle killed by tigers and leopards.

Still a long way to go before vultures can be protected from the threats, but not an end-less journey.