Friday, 31 January 2014
Project targets 2016 for Asian vultures release
After the devastation wrought by a drug on Asian vulture populations, a project hopes to begin releasing captive-bred birds into the wild by 2016.
The Saving Asia's Vultures from Extinction (Save) programme says it plans to release up to 25 birds into a 30,000-sq-km drug-free "safe zone".
Diclofenac - used by vets on cattle - was identified as causing a crash in vulture numbers and banned by India.
But, says Save, the version for human use is still given illegally to cattle.
Diclofenac was banned for use by vets and farmers in 2006 because of its effect on vultures that feed on livestock carcasses.
The link between the anti-inflammatory drug, used to reduce swelling in injured or diseased animals, and the devastating demise of Asia's vulture populations was firmly established in 2004.
Tests on captive vultures fed carcass flesh traced with the drug produced symptoms that were strikingly similar to those witnessed in sick birds in the wild.read more
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