Mission To Save Vultures:
Tamil Nadu recently launched mission to save critically endangered vultures.
- 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.
- 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.