Panchthar: A campaign for vulture conservation has begun in eastern Nepal. The campaign was initiated by various government and non-governmental organizations involved in the conservation of the endangered bird species.
Panchthar Veterinary Hospital and Livestock Expert Centre Chief, Dr. Indra Narayan Sah said -” Vultures, which feed on cadavers that smell the environment and often considered clean, are dying due to the use of antibiotics to treat sick animals. In this background, the campaign to save the vulture was vital to the environment.”
According to the study by the Bird Conservation Association, there were a total of 500,000 vultures of different species in 1990. The number has now declined to just 12,000.
Again according to the study, on dead vultures, most of the vultures that had died of diclophenec were found in their bodies. These birds had a failure in the kidney and due to the excessive concentration of uric acid, stones were formed in their kidneys. Following this disclosure, the government had launched the Vulture Conservation Program.
Project Chief of Vulture Conservation Programme under Nepal Bird Conservation Association, Bhupal Nepali, said-“Under the action plan, we’ve launched several programs, such as banning the use of diclophenec, setting up vulture restaurants, protecting the habitat of the bird and observing Vulture Day.”
He added that the bird lays eggs only once a year and its eggs take 75 days to hatch and it takes 120 days before the chicks from the eggs are ready to fly. This is one of the reasons why vultures are slowly disappearing and we need to be aware of the slowly disappearing bird species and do the needful for its conservation.
Considering the negative impact of diclophenec on the vulture population, the Department of Drug Management had completely banned the production, import, and distribution of the drugs 14 years ago.
Reserving this restriction could result up in up to three years in prison or fine up to 25,000 rupees or both. So far 72 districts including Panchthar and Taplejung have been declared diclophenec-free.
According to authorities, nine species of vulture have been found in Nepal. Conservationists have expressed their concerns about the vulture’s decline even after all the positive initiatives.