The centre has been involved in vulture conservation activities for the past 12 years in collaboration with state forest and wildlife department.The main objective of this programme is to make Wayanad and the neighbouring areas safe for vultures as part of the proposed South Indian Vulture Safe Zone.
What happened to Vultures?
Vulture plays an important role in the ecosystem. They devour carcasses and protect other animals by controlling spread of Zoonotic diseases thereby maintain ecological balance. Only very small population of vultures are left in the wild.Scientific community along with Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) arrived to a conclusion that the catastrophic declines of vultures was caused due to the consumption of carcasses which were treated with diclofenac- a Non- Steriodal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Based on scientific evidence, Government of India banned veterinary usage of diclofenac in 2006. Further scientific evidences proved that other NSAID drugs such as ketoprofen, flunixin, nimusulides, aceclofenac and carprofen are equally harmful to vulture species; and Meloxicam was approved as a safe drug to vultures by Government of India.
The programme focus on two major aspects:
1. Research - vulture surveys, monitoring the breeding colonies, monitoring the carcasses available for vultures
2. Advocacy and campaign – Capacity building of forest staff and seasonal watchers, working with forest and veterinary department to ensure the effectiveness of ban of anti-inflammatory drugs that caused vulture population decline.
We work with communities, with the support of State Forest Department, Animal Husbandry Department, Drug Control Department, District administration and Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) Government of India..