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Saving the vultures – the true custodians of ture's cleanliness

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  27 July 2015 12:00 AM GMT

UJJAINI SHARMA

Scavengers, an inevitable part of our food chain, are on their way to extinction and have to be saved and preserved from disappearing from our skies as at present these tural scavengers are considered to be the most endangered bird species from falling prey to certain harmful substances in carcasses as the vultures feed on this carcasses and soon after suffer from rel failure leading to their deaths. These magnificent birds that were once the most abundant large birds of prey and ture’s scavengers that have been silently performing their task of cleaning the environment by balancing the cycle of ture, are declining at an alarming rate which in turn has jeopardized the tural food chain relatively causing serious concerns for human health and cleanliness.

Their alarming rate disappearance from the skies earlier was attributed to human consumption but it has been proved to be a wrong notion as humans don’t feed on vultures but instead they indirectly play a role in their deaths as humans treat sick domestic livestock with a drug med Diclofec that are medicine to cattle but poison to vultures. But with the sincere efforts of organizations like Bombay Historical Society (BHS), this poisonous drug was banned in 2006 as it caused vultures to suffer from rel failure and later die after they feed on animal carcasses which tend to feed in flocks, a single contamited animal carcasses can kill many birds. The Himalayan Giffon, a migratory bird which visits Assam every winter from the Himalayan region has disappeared as it is becoming victim of poisoning and over 200 vultures have fallen prey to this drug in the last one year as stated by the vulture conversatiolist at the Vulture Conservation And Breeding Centre (VCBC) at Rani, gaon.

According to VCBC, out of 200 vultures at least 10 critically endangered White backed vultures (GYPS BENGALENSIS) and Slender billed vultures (GYPS TENEUROSTRIS) are being threatened by Diclofec which is used as a pain killer for domestic livestock. According to statistical data three Gyps species of white backed, slender and long billed vultures have declined during last 15 years. Let us join hands and work collectively to help conserve the custodian of tural cleanliness from getting extinct from our human environment and bring them back to carry on their work of cleaning the environment from dead. Vultures can be saved from extinction by preserving valuable trees where vultures make their homes, creating awareness among the cattle breeders to use Meloxicam instead of Diclofec as pain killer for the domestic livestock, and the forest department needs to be informed if babies of vultures or injured vultures are sighted within human vicinity. VCBC as part of their ongoing research on vultures has taken under its umbrella nine districts of Upper Assam for conserving vultures. Sibsagar , Jorhat, Golaghat, North Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, gaon, Dibrugarh, Sonitpur and Karbi Anglong mely are the districts selected by VCBC for their project on vulture breeding and conservation.

At a recent awareness meeting held at the State Veteriry Hospital premises under the aegis of Hospital In-charge, Dr. Alauddin Khan along with the collaboration of Bombay Historical Society, some significant proposals were taken for vulture conservation, breeding and research through a proper monitoring and research work for creating awareness among the masses who have been for long deriding the role of vultures as dangerous predators despite their role in our environment. The awareness meeting which was attended by Dibrugarh Deputy Commissioner MS Manivann, chairman of Dibrugarh Municipal Board, Anuradha Dey, District Forest Officer and the doctors of the Veteriry department. Speakers in their respective speeches called for advocating specific policy interventions and working relentlessly in vulture conservation with some encouraging results to save ture’s custodian of cleanliness from getting extinct.

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