Indian Vulture spotted near Bangalore after four years

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By Kestur Vasuki

Bangalore, Jan 11 : The Indian Vulture or the Long-billed Vulture, which was believed to have become extinct, has been spotted near Bangalore after a gap of four years.

The tracing of the giant birds at the rocks of Ramangarama, about 50 kilometers from Bangalore, has instilled hope among the conservationists.

Jayakumar, a senior Karnataka forest official, who had been struggling to trace Indian Vultures for a long time, has finally traced it on the rocks of Ramanagaram recently.

Jayakumar, the Chief Conservator of Forests and a well-known wildlife photographer, and his wife have successfully photographed these vultures.

In an exclusive interview to the Asian New International , Jayakumar said that around six to seven Long-billed Vultures were spotted at Ramanagaram and have shown the signs of breeding.

"These vultures are known to feed on contaminated flesh that have non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, because of which their eggs don't hatch and this is one of the main reasons for the depletion of vulture population," said Jayakumar.

The Long-billed Vulture is a typical vulture, with a bald head, very broad wings and short tail. It is smaller and less heavily built than European Griffon Vulture, and usually weighs between 5.5 kg and 6.3 kg.

It breeds on crags or on trees in mountains of Pakistan and India.

The Indian Vulture and the Indian White-rumped Vulture have suffered nearly cent percent population decrease in Pakistan and India due to poisoning caused by the veterinary drug diclofenac.

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and when given to working animals it can reduce joint pain and keep them working for longer.

The drug is believed to be swallowed by vultures with the flesh of dead cattle, which were given diclofenac in the last days of life.

Diclofenac causes kidney failure in several species of vultures.

In March 2005, the Indian Government announced its support for a ban on the veterinary use of diclofenac. However, a year later, diclofenac was still being used for animals throughout India and the changes in Indian legislation are awaited.

ANI

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