There was a time when as many as nine species of vulture were found in India. But as the last decade progressed a shocking 98 percent decline in the population of vultures was registered. This was mostly due to the use of a drug to treat animals that remained in the carcasses and turned fatal when eaten by vultures.
While the drug called Diclofenac has been banned from veterinary use, hope has again risen for Vultures after Central Zoo Authority (CZA) officials inspected the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park at Patna and made tentative plans to open a breeding centre for the vultures in this zoo.
It is known that the zoo is already working as a successful breeding centre for rhinos and gharials and the vultures will be a welcome addition. Although vulture breeding centres are also established in Haryana, West Bengal and Assam, these are run by the Bombay Natural History Society with the help of Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
Vultures have been spotted in the flood-prone Bihar districts of Bhagalpur, East Champaran, Supaul, Araria and Khagaria according to a forest official, therefore having a localized breeding centre in the same region would definitely be beneficial.
Vultures were declared 'critically endangered species' globally in 2000.
Flickr photo by foxypar4