Extinction of vultures raises concerns in Tilakpur

Published On: October 16, 2017 02:45 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

NAWALPARASI, Oct 16: Vultures known as nature's scavengers are on the brink of extinction due to the disturbance in their habitat in Tilakpur of Nawalparasi, which was famous for vulture restaurants.

 The vulture restaurant which was set up for the preservation of vultures has been destroyed now.

According to environmentalist Dilli Ram Chaudhary, a research held between of January and April this year showed there is not a single nest in around 3 kilometer radius of Tilakpur.  However, a previous research in 2010 recorded 20 nests of 'Dangar' vultures in that place.

“Lack of management of prey for the vultures due to economic crisis is one of the major reasons for the disappearance of vulture in Tilakpur,” said Chaudhary, adding, “Human encroachment of the forest and shrinking habitation also contributed in the decrement of vultures in the district.”

He further informed that the food provided to the vultures often used to be eaten by other carnivores of the jungle.  According to Chaudhary, it is very much necessary to create awareness about the conservation of vultures among the locals.  It is essential to inform them about the religious and environmental importance of vultures and their role in maintaining ecosystem and developing tourism, informed Chaudhary.

At the same time, losses of vulture can allow other scavengers to flourish. Increment of such scavengers could bring bacteria and viruses from carcasses, spreading diseases like rabies, plague, dysentery, and other communicable diseases to human cities.

Earlier, people  used an anti-inflammatory drug called diclofenac, which caused the extinction of vultures. However at present, lack of serious concern for the conservation of vulture has caused the decimation of vultures worldwide.

The vulture has also religious importance. In Hindu mythology, the vulture is the mount of Shani Dev (which refers to the planet Saturn).  Also, a vulture named Jatayu tried to save Sita, wife of the god-king Ram, from the clutches of a demon Ravan in the Ramarayan epic.

Nepal is the habitat of nine types of vulture out of 23 vultures found around the world.

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