Tag: vulture

Bangladesh | National Ketoprofen Ban

The Oriental White-backed Vulture of India and southeast Asia was so abundant up until the 1980s that it was considered one of the most common large birds of prey in the world. Once numbering several million individuals, just a few decades later it was listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered after an almost incomprehensible 99.9% decline.Iin Asia especially vultures have been almost wiped out through the use of anti-inflammatory drugs like Diclofenac, which are routinely given to cattle. Vultures scavenging on the carcasses of cattle that have been recently treated with the drug, develop gout, kidney failure and die within just a few days. Diclofenac was banned over a decade ago, but was quickly replaced with a similar drug, Ketoprofen, which is also deadly to vultures. So the ban reported by SAVE (Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction) is a significant step forward…

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Mass vulture poisoning in West Africa

As many as a staggering 2,000 Hooded Vultures have died in Guinea-Bissau since 2019. This represents a loss of around 5% of the estimated national population of Hooded Vultures (put at around 43000 in 2018 surveys – a figure which represents around 22% of the entire global population). At least 200 of the vultures were beheaded, suggesting the body parts were harvested for ‘medicinal’ or ritual purposes…

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Dead and Dying | Old World Vultures 101

Vultures have a bit of a poor reputation. They’re often thought of as little more than dirty scavengers with ‘faces only a mother could love’, typically photographed with their heads stuck inside a corpse or fighting over dead or dying animals. The reality, though, is more nuanced. play hugely important roles in many ecosystems, helping to reduce the spread of disease and bacteria by cleaning up carrion (vultures have very strong stomach acid, which allows them to feed on carcasses infected with anthrax and rabies unlike many other scavengers). In their absence, carcasses take three times as long to decompose, and contacts between mammal scavengers at carcasses increase three-fold. Sadly, though , Vultures are now one of the most threatened groups of birds on the planet.

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