Vultures (Geedh) in Himachal near extinct

Rapid decline of vulture population in South Asian countries has raised the alarm across the subcontinent. Environmental activists say that vultures have become near extinct in Himachal. While the Himachal Forest Department has dropped the proposal to set up a vulture breeding centre in the state last year. Wild Life sources, said lack of a breeding centre would affect the conservation programme as a breeding project. Researchers vulture.jpgengaged in the Vulture Recovery Plan have indicated that the exposure of vultures to the veterinary painkiller, diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is the major cause of the rapid vulture population decline, the disappearance of the scavenger birds from the skies of the State must have been caused by factors including habitat changes, use of pesticides, changes in livestock management, increased population density and awareness of social hygiene. Director Himalayan Wild Life & Environment protection Society, Kishan Lal Thakur, who has been involved in bird watching initiatives, says that in 1st stage of their work they found 16 vultures in Koksar near Rohtang. According to him, the indiscriminate use of pesticides may also have caused the local extinction of vultures. The World Conservation Union has listed the three species as critically endangered in 2000, since their decline is estimated to exceed 50 per cent a year.



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