23 Aug, Gulariya (Bardiya) : The vulture population is reportedly on a downward spiral in Bardiya blaring out an alarm to cap the rate at which the disappearance is occurring.
The absence of prey, shrinking habitation and the use of diclofenac on livestock is contributing towards the stark plunge in the number of vultures here.
The bearded vulture, Egyptian vulture, white-rumped vulture, cinereous vulture and red-headed vultures are the species of vultures faced with an existential crisis in Nepal.
Vultures – known as the nature’s scavengers tasked with cleaning out the corpses from the Earth’s surface – were found in high numbers a few decades ago in Baridya, but now locating one means a far cry. The Himalayan griffon vulture is also learnt to be on a brink of extinction. The use of diclofenac medicine on livestock is the prime cause resulting in the reduced number of vultures.
Feeding on the corpses of animals that have used the medicine causes the vultures’ kidneys to blast and also inhibits their reproductive system.
As per a census held in 2006, only 1200 pairs of vultures were found in Nepal. At total of 64 districts have been declared diclofenac – free following which it is estimated that the vulture population has swelled to around 12,000, according to Nepal Vulture Conservation Campaign Member Secretary, Ram Bahadur Shahi.