Chandigarh, May 10 – The Haryana Forest and Environment Minister, Capt.Ajay Singh Yadav emphasized the need to save the decreasing population of vultures in the State as these vultures are extremely useful birds for mankind and are also helpful for keeping the environment clean.
This assertion was made by Capt. Ajay Singh Yadav after visiting the Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre located at Jodhpur village near Bir Shikargaha Wildlife Sanctuary at Pinjore today.
Capt. Yadav revealed successful hatching of nine nestlings, three of each of the three species which included White-backed vulture, long-billed vulture and slender-billed vulture during 2009-10 breeding season. He said that all the hatchings were between 80 to 110 days old and hoped that they would fledge in next 20 to 30 days. He further said that so far six birds had successfully hatched at the centre during the previous year. Similarly, three White-backed vultures and slender-billed vulture hatched during 2008-09 and two White-backed vultures hatched during 2007-08.
The Forest Minister said that the centre experimented with double clutching and artificial incubation. Also, as the centre had succeeded in hatching three long-billed and white-backed vultures in the incubators. He maintained that the artificial incubation was successfully attempted for the first time ever for these endangered species. He disclosed that normally the pair of vultures lay only one egg, but is known to relay if their egg was removed within 15 days of laying.
Capt.Yadav pointed out that in this way, two nestlings could be hatched from a pair instead of one. The scientists of this centre hoped to increase the productivity of these slow breeding species by adopting this method. He expressed satisfaction with the functioning of the scientists and as well as of the centre. He also lauded the efforts of Bombay Natural History Society in setting up the Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre at Pinjore. He also thanked the U.K. Government and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and for providing technical support to this centre.
The Minister maintained that the vultures are helpful in maintaining clean environment, but he expressed concern on decreasing the population of vultures due to the use of non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug called Diclofenac. The vulture gets exposed to diclofenac when they feed on carcass of cattle who had died within 72 hours of the administration of the drug, he added. He further said that the vulture gets kidney failure and die of ‘Visceral Gout’. He revealed that the veterinary use of Diclofenac has been completely banned by the Government of India since 2006, but there were reports that the diclofenac meant for human consumption was still in use as a veterinary drug.