Haryana claims first ever captive breeding of vultures

March 26th, 2008 - 11:38 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Chandigarh, March 26 (IANS) Haryana Wednesday claimed to have become the first state in the country to successfully breed white-backed vultures in captivity, state’s Forests and Tourism Minister Kiran Chaudhary said here. Chaudhary told reporters that a vulture chick was being bred carefully at the Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centre at Pinjore, 20 km from here, after a pair laid an egg for the third year in a row in captivity.

The 55-day old chick has been named ‘Vibhu’ after the name of scientist and breeder Vibhu Parkash, who has been trying along with the Bombay Natural History Society and British vulture researchers since 2001 to ensure captive breeding of the rapidly vanishing vultures.

Vultures used to be a common sight in Punjab and Haryana and were useful as they ate up carcasses of animals. However, in recent years, vultures have suddenly becoming extinct in the region.

The main reason for the huge birds vanishing suddenly, according to scientists, was dairy farmers using a chemical medicine called Diclofenac for increasing milk yield in cattle.

Most vultures die due to diclofenac when they eat the flesh of such dead cattle, scientists said in recent studies.

Chaudhary said she would be writing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting him to ban the use of diclofenac drug as it would make the vultures extinct.

The breeding centre at Pinjore is funded by the Royal Society for Protection of Birds and Darwin Initiative of United Kingdom with technical collaboration from Zoological Society of London and National Birds of Prey Trust, Britain.

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