Populations of Gyps vultures in Southeast Asia are in dire trouble. Work in India has recorded declines in excess of 95% in populations of three species across 12 Indian states since the early 1990s. In central Gujarat we aim to save oriental white-rumped vultures and other migratory vultures. We will focus on saving vultures and their natural habitat through regular monitoring of nesting/roosting, and feeding sites, multi-stakeholder participation at grass roots through awareness and advocacy.
The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac, used to treat domestic livestock, has been identified as the major cause of mortality in South Asia. Vultures are unable to process diclofenac and other vulture-toxic NSAIDs which then cause renal failure resulting in deaths. One of the main challenges now is preventing human Diclofenac and other NSAIDs from being used for veterinary purposes. Vultures deaths also occur due to kite-string injury, dehydration and poisoning.
We will create Vulture Safe Habitats through intensive monitoring, awareness, and advocacy at grass root level with benefits to local community. Incidental poisoning will be reduced due to farmer engagement. Vulture rescues will be more efficient due to regular field work. Each individual vulture is important and saving each is critical for species conservation.
Safe, NSAID and vulture-toxin free environment will be created for potential reintroduction of captive bred, and remaining wild vultures. With increased wild population, there will be direct ecological benefits including carcass disposal of wild and domestic ungulates, indirect control of street dog population and related zoonotic diseases. Long term monitoring and data collection will contribute to scientific programs like IUCN SSP, SAVE, national and international species management programs.