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vulture extinction - india/pakistan/nepal

Hi — I’ve been reading about the near extinction of several vulture species in india, pakistan, and nepal.

I’m hoping south asia based members can give me some current information.

Ten years ago, I remember seeing huge flocks of vultures in places like varanasi, delhi, etc. but with population figures down 97%, it sounds like it  is now unusual to see them at all.

can people on the ground give me an idea of whether the birds can still be seen "in the wild", or have they effectively vanished?

thanks in advance, teru

by teru kuwayama at 2006-03-25 10:53:16 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) brooklyn , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I had not thought about it, but now that you bring it up Teru, I have not seen many vultures here in India. Not even on the occasional dead animal on the road side. Only crows on those. And in the sky the only bird circling is the kite. I saw a pair of vultures (can’t recall where) but thinking about it now I dont think I have seen any others. I will keep my eye out and let you know.

by Radhanatha Jakupko | 26 Mar 2006 02:03 | Vrindavan, India | | Report spam→
Hi Teru,
Malcolm Smith has written extensively about this. I can give you his email address if you want to contact him directly. Dr Vibhu Prakash of the Bombay Natural History Society is also working on this and has some vultures in captivity near Pinjore. Oriental White-backed Vultures, Long-billed and Slender-billed Vultures have all plummeted so much that they think all three could be extinct within a year or two. Maybe you already read this but they believe it is because of a drug they are giving as a pain reliever to cows and water buffalo. When the livestock die, the vultures feed off the carcasses and its poisoning them. Feel free to send me an email if you want any more info. Best, Ami

by [former member] | 26 Mar 2006 11:03 | Delhi, India | | Report spam→
You’re right aout the drug Ami, also, there has been speculation about an unknown disease among the vulture population. The vulture population started declining rapidly in the 1990’s and many believe this as yet unidentified "disease" to be responsible. There is a very good paper about this online here: www.vulturedeclines.org/Cunningham.pdf  I remember seeing vultures everyday as I was growing up in Punjab in the 80’s. but since the mid 90’s I have not spotted them anywhere in the plains of North India. The last time I spotted one was in 2001 in the Sirmour district of Himachal Pradesh which is a semi-remote, hilly area. The bird looked healthy one can only hope that in this remote area they might have survived in some numbers. I have not been back in the area since but plan to go sometime in the next couple of months and will update if I see any vultures.

by [former member] | 26 Mar 2006 21:03 | New Delhi, India | | Report spam→

I’m sending you a pm…….

by [former member] | 27 Mar 2006 08:03 | Delhi, India | | Report spam→

by teru kuwayama | 27 Mar 2006 12:03 (ed. Mar 27 2006) | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
heya all. thanks.

the vulture-killing drug is called Diclofenac and there seems to be some very slow moving legislation to ban it, but it doesn’t sound like it will be at all effective.
I’m hearing from other sources that vultures are still visible in greater numbers in nepal and tibet, but I’m not sure if they’re  the same species.

still checking it out, and hoping to get more reports, thanks again.

by teru kuwayama | 27 Mar 2006 12:03 (ed. Mar 27 2006) | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
ps. Radhanatha — if you’re still in vrindravin, the Raja Thali over at the ISKCON temple is something else.

by teru kuwayama | 27 Mar 2006 12:03 | brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Maybe you have already read this article on the issue on March 28 th NYTimes

by [former member] | 29 Mar 2006 06:03 | Brooklyn, New York, United States | | Report spam→
I have been seeing some vultures up here in Dharamshala. Seen quite a few up in the hills.
Regarding the Raja Thali- that place shut down a while back. The new place to go is MVT. It is right behind the ISKCON temple. Has a guest house and a very good thali, as well as pizza and other stuff. The place is actually run by the parents of a lightstalkers member. Haha.

by Radhanatha Jakupko | 04 Apr 2006 07:04 | Dharamshala, India | | Report spam→
Yea I sorta missed the crazy coots when I was there in Febuary. They added a great visual dimension ….

by Imants | 06 Apr 2006 09:04 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→
You know where they all went? To the train stations. Well, at least the human vultures.

by Radhanatha Jakupko | 07 Apr 2006 14:04 | Dharamshala, India | | Report spam→
Sure but even those numbers are down on last year

by Imants | 08 Apr 2006 07:04 | Sydney, Australia | | Report spam→

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teru kuwayama, I/O teru kuwayama
New York , United States
Radhanatha Jakupko, Photographer Radhanatha Jakupko
Alachua , United States ( GNV )
Imants, gecko hunter Imants
gecko hunter
" The Boneyard" , Australia


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