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Vulture Restaurant in Jharkhand

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • A ‘Vulture Restaurant’ has been established in Koderma, Jharkhand, as a conservation initiative for the declining vulture population.

More about the news

  • It is an undisturbed area where non-toxic, poison-free meat and carcasses are provided for vultures and other scavengers.
  • Aims to mitigate the adverse impact of livestock drugs, especially diclofenac, on vultures.
  • The first ‘vulture restaurant’ was established in 2015 at Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary in Raigad, Maharashtra. Maharashtra has four other such restaurants, all within the state.
About Vultures

·       Vultures are part of the 22 species of large carrion-eating birds primarily found in the tropics and subtropics.

·       Play a crucial role as nature’s garbage collectors and help control wildlife diseases.

·       India hosts nine vulture species, including Oriental white-backed, Long-billed, Slender-billed, Himalayan, Red-headed, Egyptian, Bearded, Cinereous, and Eurasian Griffon.

·       Schedule-1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 provides protection to Bearded, Long-billed, Slender-billed, and Oriental white-backed vultures. Others are protected under ‘Schedule IV.’

·       IUCN Red List categorizes some as Critically Endangered (Oriental White-backed, Long-billed, Slender-billed, and Red-headed), and Egyptian Vulture as Endangered.

Threats:

·       Use of Diclofenac: Veterinary NSAID found in cattle carcasses vultures feed on; banned in 2008.

·       Pesticides: Presence of organochlorine pesticide, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and heavy metals.

·       Other threats include lack of nesting trees, electrocution by power lines, food scarcity, and contaminated food.

Conservation Efforts:

·       National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) Action Plan 2020-2025:

1) Vulture Conservation Centres: Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu designated for vulture conservation and breeding centres.

2) Vulture Safe Zone: Establishment of at least one vulture-safe zone in each state for the conservation of remnant populations.

3) Rescue Centres: Creation of four dedicated rescue centres in Pinjore (Haryana), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Guwahati (Assam), and Hyderabad (Telangana).

4) Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres (VCB): Nine VCB Centres in India, with three administered by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).

·       Involvement of local villagers as ‘gidhaad mitra’ in rejuvenation and conservation efforts.

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