The Financial Express

Vultures inching towards extinction with only 260 remaining in country

| Updated: September 05, 2020 22:15:26

Vultures inching towards extinction with only 260 remaining in country

About 99 per cent of the vultures have become extinct across the globe while only 260 vultures remain in the country, said Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Md Shahab Uddin on Saturday.

So, the government is working to increase the number of vultures, he added. 

The minister revealed it while speaking at a webinar as the chief guest on the occasion of International Vulture Awareness Day 2020, organised by the Forest Department.

He said the contribution of nature cleaner vulture in the protection of the environment is undeniable.

But day by day this beneficial bird is getting lost from nature. Initiatives have been taken to raise public awareness to save this endangered species, he mentioned.

The government is implementing various programmes for the conservation of the bird.  “To make it a success, we all have to take responsibility from our respective positions”.

Referring to various activities of the government in vulture conservation, the minister said that diclofenac, a harmful drug for vultures, was banned across the country in 2010.

Thoughts are afoot to ban ketotifen in the treatment of animals that are food of vultures in the country. 

He said the 'Bangladesh National Vulture Conservation Committee' has been formed in 2013. 

In 2014, two regions of the country were declared as safe areas for vultures.  In 2016, a ten-year (2016-2025) Bangladesh Vulture Conservation Action Plan has been formulated, which is working as a long-term framework for the protection of vultures in Bangladesh. 

All kinds of activities are being carried out for the conservation of vultures with the priority of this action plan, he added.

The forest minister further said that two feeding stations have been set up at Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary in Habiganj and Sundarbans in 2015 to meet the demand for extra food during the vulture breeding season.

 In 2017, a vulture rescue and identification centre has been set up at Singra in Dinajpur to conduct rescue and rehabilitation activities for sick and injured vultures.

 So far, 93 Himalayan Griffon species of vultures have been rescued and released into the wild. 

At the seventh and eight Regional Steering Committee meetings in Bangladesh in 2017 and 2019, various effective decisions have been taken on vulture conservation, which is a microphone for vulture conservation in Bangladesh and South Asia.

Deputy Minister Habibun Nahar, Secretary Ziaul Hasan NDC and Additional Secretary (administration) Md Billal Hossain of the ministry, Chairman of Nature and Life Foundation Mukit Majumder Babu, Wildlife and Nature Conservation Area Forest Conservator Mihir Kumar Doe, Global Threatened Species Officer and Program Manager of Royal Society for the Protection of the Birds Chris Bowden and International Bird Specialist Enam ul Haq attended the virtual seminar.

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