A juvenile oriental white-rumped vulture was found dead at Junagam near Hazira, some 27kms from Surat in South Gujarat, on Wednesday. Locals informed volunteers belonging to Nature Club(Surat) about the dead bird. This vulture species is protected under Schedule 1 category of Wildlife Protection Act. “It was a juvenile of oriental white-rumped vulture species. it was lying dead. We collected the bird from the spot and sent it to the forest department in Mahuva, Bhavnagar District, where the facility to keep dead birds exists,” co-coordinator, Vultures’ Conservation Program, Nature Club(Surat), Viral Prajapati said. The postmortem of the dead bird will be done at Pinjore to ascertain the cause of death. According to nature conservationists, three species of vulture endemic to South Asia- the oriental white-rumped vulture gyps Bengalensis, longbilled vulture gyps indices and slender-billed vulture gyps gastroenteritis- are at high risk of extinction. “It has been observed that oriental white-rumped vultures are usually found in the western region of south Gujarat. A small population of oriental white-rumped vulture and long billed vulture still survive in south Gujarat’s coastal part near Hazira. There are about 45 oriental white-rumped vultures,” Prajapati said. Use of veterinary drug diclofenac is responsible for bringing the three species of vulture’s endemic to South Asia to the brink of extinction. The Government of India banned the drug in May 2006. Recently, the state government had said in the state assembly that there were only 1,065 vultures in Gujarat.
Courtesy:- Times Of India