Wildlife: Vulnerable vultures in Bangladesh are on the rise

2 hours ago

image source, IUCN/Sarowar Alam Dipu

The researchers and conservationists of this sector said that there is a glimpse of the increase in the number of critically endangered animals vultures in Bangladesh. According to the latest survey data of 2014, the total number of vultures in the country is 260.

But a vulture census earlier this year showed that 10 vulture babies have been born in the past few years.

According to International Organization for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the breeding rate of Bengal vulture, the only species found in the country, has increased by 71 percent.

The number of vultures is likely to increase

Bengal vulture is now mainly seen in Bangladesh.

At one time there were seven species of vultures in Bangladesh. But in the meantime, the king vulture has completely disappeared from the country.

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This means that in the last 40 years, not a single king vulture has been seen in the skies of the country.

Out of the remaining six species, two species Himalayan vulture and Eurasian vulture are mainly migratory, meaning they come in the winter season and stay till April.

The 260 vultures found in the last vulture census of 2014 are all Bengal vulture species.

There are also a few narrow-lipped vultures.

But they are also rare, as one vulture is seen every five years.

IUCN Bangladesh official Sarwar Alam Dipu told the BBC that a new census earlier this year showed signs of improvement in vulture breeding conditions.

image source, IUCN/Sarowar Alam Dipu

Image caption,

The vulture is now a critically endangered bird

He said, “Of the 60 to 70 vultures in the Rema Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary, we found 14 nests this year.

“We got 10 babies out of them. That’s a 71% reproduction rate. It’s a big success for us this year.”

“In the last seven years we have received reports of five vulture deaths, there is no other information. As a result, vultures have not decreased, they are stable. But there is a positive change,” he said.

Mr. Alam says that another vulture census will be held in October, after which the number of vultures in Bangladesh will be officially announced in December.

The IUCN says the vulture is now the organization’s red-listed animal.

This means, if 90 percent of the total number of an animal has disappeared from the wild, then it is a red-listed animal.

At present the total number of vultures in the whole world is 11,000.

But there were four million vultures at one time in the Indian subcontinent alone.

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image source, IUCN/Sarowar Alam Dipu

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But from there, the census conducted in 2008-09 shows that the number of vultures in Bangladesh has come down to 1972.

In the 2014 census, it further decreased to 260.

To protect the vulture official Are the steps enough?

Ornithologists and researchers say that the vulture has almost disappeared from South Asia due to the widespread use of two drugs, diclofenac and ketoprofen, which are used to treat animals, especially cattle.

Vultures die of kidney failure within three minutes of consuming the meat of these two drug-treated animals.

Because vultures cannot digest the reaction of this medicine.

Meanwhile, the government of Bangladesh banned the use of diclofenac in veterinary medicine in 2010, and ketoprofen in two areas of the country in 2017.

But Mr. IUCN. Alam said, in recent studies, they have found that 51 percent of ketoprofen is still present in nature.

the vulture

image source, IUCN/Sarowar Alam Dipu

Image caption,

the vulture

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin told the BBC that within the next one year, the government will arrange a complete ban on the use of ketoprofen throughout the country.

He said, “We will contact various drug companies directly from our forest department, or from our ministry. We will call them again and sit with them, why they are not closing yet.”

“We will be able to close within this year, Inshallah,” he said.

In addition to banning two drugs to protect vultures, the government formed the National Vulture Conservation Committee in 2013.

Two regions of the country have been declared vulture safe zones in 2014.

The first is Sylhet, parts of Dhaka and Chittagong divisions, and the second is Khulna, Barisal and parts of Dhaka divisions as vulture safe areas.

Besides, two feeding centers have been set up in 2015 for the breeding season of vultures under the joint management of the government with IUCN.

the vulture

image source, IUCN/Sarowar Alam Dipu

Image caption,

Vulture lays a total of one egg a year

One in Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary and the other in Sundarbans.

But despite this the number of vultures was not increasing.

Captive breeding or artificial insemination

Bird expert Inam Al Haque thinks that the government needs to think about the artificial reproduction of vultures in the country. Therefore, the necessary investment must be made.

He was explaining it like this, “Captive breeding means stealing eggs from a vulture’s nest. She lays an egg, you take it away, then she lays another egg.

Otherwise only one will pass in a year. Because he cannot save more than one child. He removed that egg and put it in an incubator and brought up the baby, he has to be nurtured.”

Mr. Haque says, this process is subject to cost.

He said “because that baby has to be raised a lot before it can be released (into the wild). To save the vultures we have to go into captive breeding, and the government has to pay for that.

“Only five crore taka can start a captive breeding program in Bangladesh. Only by investing we can increase the number of vultures. Because the number of vultures increases slowly and decreases slowly.”

Vultures are called nature’s scavengers because they feed on the flesh of dead animals.

And through this they destroy many germs naturally.

The researchers said that the vulture’s stomach can protect nature by digesting the germs of many diseases including anthrax, rabies.

Tags: Wildlife Vulnerable vultures Bangladesh rise

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