Friday, September 12, 2008
White-backed Vulture: Soon to be Extinct?
Here is an exerpt from an article on White-backed Vultures that appeared on Wildlife Extra.com
Critically endangered Asian vulture conservation efforts not enough to save the species
Captive breeding colonies of a critically endangered vulture, whose numbers in the wild have dwindled from tens of millions to a few thousand, are too small to protect the species from extinction, a University of Michigan analysis shows...With a seven-foot wingspan, the oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis) was an awesome presence in south Asia until the mid-1990s, when populations began to collapse. At first the cause was unclear, but researchers eventually zeroed in on an anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac, that is used to alleviate arthritis-like symptoms in livestock but is toxic to vultures. Vultures that feed on carcasses of animals treated with the drug die of kidney failure within a day or two after eating the tainted meat. And although India, Nepal and Pakistan outlawed its manufacture in 2006, diclofenac is still available, and birds are still dying.
Read the full article HERE