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Tamil Nadu recently launched mission to save critically endangered vultures.


Tamil Nadu- State level committee:

  • The committee, which has a two-year tenure, will take steps for monitoring the conservation and recovery of existing vulture sites and mapping of vulture populations across the State for creating safe zones.
  • It will work to eliminate the use of toxic veterinary drugs (Diclofenac), the main reason for vulture fatalities.
  • Prevention of poisoning of cattle carcasses, the principal food of vultures, is also one of the responsibilities of the newly formed committee.

In Tamil Nadu, four species of vultures are found —

  • the Oriental white-backed vulture,
  • the long-billed vulture,
  • the red-headed vulture, and
  • the Egyptian vulture. 
  • The first three are residents and can be found in the landscapes of the Nilgiris and Sathyamangalam.
  • There is evidence of Egyptian vulture breeding only at one site in Dharmapuri.

Vulture population:

  • 96% of India’s vulture population declined between 1993 and 2003.
  • Therefore, the Central government put into place two action plans to protect the species at the national level — the first in 2006 and the second, ongoing plan for 2020-2025.
  • One of the important action points in this nationwide plan is the formation of State-level committees to save the critically endangered population of vultures.

Vulture species in India:

  • 9 species of vultures are found in India.
  • Of these nine species, 4 are listed as Critically Endangered species of Vultures and one as endangered species in IUCN red list of endangered species.

Species of Vultures found in India and their Conservation Status:

  • Indian Vulture or Long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus)-Critically Endangered
  • Indian White-backed Vulture (Gyps bengalensis)-Critically Endangered
  • Red-headed Vulture (Sarcogypscalvus)- Critically Endangered
  • Slender-billed Vulture (Gyps tenuirostris)- Critically Endangered
  • Egyptian Vulture (Neophronpercnopterus)- Endangered
  • Cincerous Vulture (Aegypiusmonachus)- Near Threatened
  • Bearded Vulture (Gypaetusbarbatus)-Near Threatened
  • Himalayan Vulture (Gyps himalayansis)-Near Threatened
  • Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus)- Least Concern


Source : The Hindu