Action Plan for Vulture Conservation 2020-2025

#GS3 #Environment #Wildlife #Conservation

The National Board for Wildlife recently approved an action plan for vulture conservation, 2020-2025. Under the new National Action Plan for Vulture Conservation, five new conservation centres are to be established in five different state (Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu).



  • The plan has also suggested that new veterinary non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) be tested on vultures before their commercial release. NSAIDS often poisons cattle whose carcasses the birds pray on.
  • The new plan has laid out strategies and actions to stem the decline in vulture population, especially of the three Gyps species:
    • Oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis)
    • Slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris)
    • Long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus)
  • This would be done through both ex-situ and in-situ conservation.


Highlights of the Action Plan

  • A system to automatically remove a drug from veterinary use if it is found to be toxic to vultures, with the help of the Drugs Controller General of India.
  • Conservation breeding of red-Headed vultures and Egyptian vultures and the establishment at least one vulture-safe zone in each state for the conservation of the remnant populations in that state.
  • Establishment of four rescue centres, in Pinjore (Haryana), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Guwahati (Assam) and Hyderabad (Telangana). There are currently no dedicated rescue centres for treating vultures.
  • Coordinated nation-wide vulture counting, involving forest departments, the Bombay Natural History Society, research institutes, non-profits and members of the public. This would be for getting a more accurate estimate of the size of vulture populations in the country.
  • A database on emerging threats to vulture conservation, including collision and electrocution, unintentional poisoning, etc.


Vultures in India

  • There are 9 species of vultures in India.
    • Oriental white backed vulture-critically endangered
    • Slender billed vulture-critically endangered
    • Long billed vulture-critically endangered
    • Egyptian vulture-endangered
    • Red headed vulture-critically endangered
    • Indian Griffon vulture-least concerned
    • Himalayan group of vulture-near threatened
    • Cinereous vulture-near threatened
    • Bearded vulture -near threatened
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