Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

* Please click the continent to see the endangered species of our neighborhood.
Slender-billed Vulture, Mishmi Hills, India (cropped) * To See the original image, please click the image
Shared by : Prashant Bhandari (Nepal)
Region : India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Burma and Cambodia
Status : Critically Endangered
Slender billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) has black head and thin neck with a dark bill and measures about 80-95 cm long. It is listed as Critically Endangered and the rate of decline is high. with recent surveys in the lowland districts of Nepal. recording no birds (Chaudhary et al. 2011). It feeds on by scavenging at dumps, slaughterhouse and carcasses of dead animals. Vulture play a key role as providers of eco-system services. Extensive research has identified the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac to be the cause behind this rapid population collapse (Green et al. 2004, Oaks et al. 2004a,Shultz et al. 2004, Swan et al. 2005). This drug, used to treat domestic livestock, is ingested by vultures feeding on their carcasses, leading to renal failure and causing visceral gout (Oaks et al. 2004a,b Swan et al. 2005, Gilbert et al. 2006). Government of Nepal has put ban on production, import and use of veterinary diclofenac in june 2006, and has implemented Vulture Conservation Action plan (2009-13). This action plan prevents the extinction of vulture by ensuring re-introduction, maintenance of habitat, and most importantly safe food supply.

Since March 2008, community in Pithauli, Nawalparsi is managing a ‘Vulture Restaurant’ to conserve Vultures where community acquires old cows, usually free of cost and maintains a ranch and treat the cow for 7 days with meloxicam to wash out any traces of diclofenac. UNDP Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme has supported Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN), a National NGO, dedicated to conserving the birds in Nepal, for the management of community vulture restaurant. The project has trained local community to manage cow ranch, vulture restaurant and proper record keeping. The result is quite encouraging. The census this year shows that there are 32 breeding nests of vulture compared to last years' 17. The Bird Conservation Nepal, with the support from local communities in Bardaghat is replicating vulture restaurant in other places also.

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