Vulture’s name auctioned for the cause of conservation

May 27th, 2008 - 9:39 am ICT by admin  

Pinjore (Haryana), May 27 (ANI): A newborn vulture earned the name Phoenix and a sum of 20,000 sterling pounds at an auction conducted by the London-based Royal Society for the Protection of Birds at the Vulture Breeding and Conservation Centre in Pinjore, Haryana. The amount earned is to be used for conservation. As the vulture populations dwindling across India, a White-backed vulture, the second to be born in captivity at the Vulture Breeding and Conservation Centre, caught the attention of the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB) in England. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and the Government of Haryana jointly manage the Pinjore centre. “The Bombay Society is working with the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, and we are the partner of Bird Life International. The Royal Society and BNHS are jointly working in the three breeding centres, which are in country, one is in Pinjore, another is at Buxa (West Bengal) and third is in Assam near Guwahati. For maintaining these

three centres, we need a lot of money and for that RSPB has been raising funds internationally,” said Dr. Vibhu Prasad, Principal Scientist, BNHS. The other surviving vulture chick to be born in captivity at the Pinjore centre has been named Vibhu after the scientist. The scientists at Asia’s first Vulture Care Centre are battling to save vultures, which are facing the threat of extinction due to a mysterious viral infection. As per reports, 99 per cent of the country’s vulture population has vanished mainly because of them consuming cow carcasses treated with the anti- inflammatory drug Diclofenac Sodium, the manufacture of which was banned in 2006. Undisposed animal carcasses will further endanger the vulture population that is virtually under threat of extinction. Birds eating the carcass of an animal that had died shortly after treatment with the drug suffered kidney damage, increased serum uric acid concentrations, visceral gout and death. The drug was introduced in India in 1995 and the government banned it this year, but the ban has not yet been implemented in many parts of the country. The successful raising of this baby vulture has renewed hope for saving the endangered specie. The Vulture Breeding Centre at Pinjore was set up in 2001 as the Vulture Care Centre with funding from the UK’s Darwin’s Initiative for Survival of Species fund. Vultures find a place in Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the country’s only legal framework to protect endangered species, which prohibits hunting and trafficking of endangered species. Conservationists around the world have also called upon the Indian Government to intensify a captive breeding programme for the threatened species. (ANI)

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