Captive breeding of vultures in MP

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Bhopal, Sep 6(UNI) Alarmed over the depleting number of vultures in Madhya Pradesh, captive breeding of four species of the bird found in the state will be taken up at the Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centre proposed on five acre land in Kerwa area near the state capital.

Construction of the centre will begin after final approval of land by Bombay Natural History Society's scientist Dr Vibhu Prakash, who will be coming here on a two-day visit from September 14, official sources said, adding the centre will have aviary quarantine, nursery pans, hospital pans and freezer room.

As many as nine species of vulture, placed under severely endangered category, are found in India and it play an important role in environment conservation as it feed on flesh of dead animals.

Bengal vulture, Indian long-billed vulture, king vulture and white vulture are found in Madhya Pradesh, though, according to a study, its number had declined by about 90 percent between 1990 and 2002.

Official sources attribute the depletion in the number of vultures due to its death after feeding on flesh of pet animals which were administered anti-inflammatory medicine Dichlophenic.

Another reason is increase in carnivores including stray dogs, jackals and foxes that also feed on carcasses.

Along with protection of vultures' habitats to lessen rivalry with other carnivores, treatment of injured birds and detecting diseases after death of a bird through postmortem are also planned.

UNI SP AKJ RK1520

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