Sheltered for a year, vultures now at home with nature

• In October 2020, eight critically endangered Oriental white-backed vultures were released into the wild for the first time in India from the Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre (JCBC) situated at the Bir Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuary in Shivalik ranges of the Himalayan foothills in Haryana’s Pinjore.

• All eight vultures were deployed with satellite tracking devices on their back, and orange-coloured wing tags on both wings, to monitor them.

• They have been bred in captivity so they will gradually adjust in the wild. They are flying well and have managed to locate water. Also, they have managed to join the wild flock with other vultures such as the Himalayan griffon, which is surely an encouraging sign.
Threats to vultures:
• Uncontrolled veterinary usage of non-steroidal anti-infltory drugs (NSAID), including Aceclofenac, Ketoprofen and Nimesulide, and the illegal use of the drug Diclofenac, are toxic to vultures if they feed on carcasses within 72 hours of the drugs’ administration to such livestock.

• Key reason behind the use of Diclofenac is that it’s a very low-cost drug.

• Governments need to subsidise alternative drugs cheaper than Diclofenac.

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Mains Paper 3: Environment

Prelims level: Bir Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuary

Mains level: Read the newsfeed

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