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Where have the vultures gone?

vultures, polpulation, birds

What has decimated the population of vultures is a big question in front of zoologists and other researchers as its disturbing the food chain. though they have been trying there level best to save the species by providing good breeding ground yet the vultures are today under the category of endangered species play an essential ecological role as garbage collectors and recyclers.

This imbalance is affecting the ecological balance. About nine species of vultures live in the Indian subcontinent, and each has a specific ecological role. The void is filled by wild dogs and rats.

Researchers’ vulture study may be over—not because they have solved the mystery, rather because vultures no more remain in significant number on the planet required to carry out a study.

The vulture population is declining drastically due to many reasons, including the veterinary use of drug diclofenac. There are other views about this declining population of vultures. A wildlife conservator of Forests department believes that this decline might be due to scarcity of food for the scavangers as people prefer to bury or burn the corpse of animals, especially cattle, from the hygiene point of view. Hence, the vultures have to depend upon carcass of stray animals.

As the vulture population hovers on the brink of extinction, the India government has embarked on a plan to breed the nature’s scavengers in captivitywith the special permission to capture vultures.

In a forest cover in the foothills of the Himalayas, near Chandigarh researchers have just opened a Vulture Care Center. There they will care for sick vultures and try to identify what's killing these species.

When ill, the birds drop their heads and progressively become more lethargic. The center maintains labs, large aviaries and individual "hospital" aviaries for sick birds that will be monitored by closed-circuit television—an unobtrusive way to monitor the people-shy birds.

Published: 2006-06-19
Author: BHUPINDER KOHLI

About the author or the publisher
•As feature writer with ‘The Times of India,’ handling special feature pages on property, personal finance and travel.
•Headed the team of ‘Times Newspaper In Education,’ the school edition of The Times of India, Chandigarh(2003-04).
•Worked as the editor-in-chief of ‘Page Three People’, a magazine focusing on socialites in Chandigarh.(2004-05).
•Freelancer with ‘Life Colours’ magazine and ‘santabanta.com.’(2003)
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