With a drastic decline in vulture population in country, the Environment Ministry has decided to kick start this year’s World Environment Day celebrations with the release of vultures bred in the nation’s first breeding centre at Pinjore in Haryana.
Observing that his Ministry will work towards increasing the number of vultures in the coming years, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that he along with Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will release the vultures into the wild on June 3.
The theme of the World Environment Day on June 5 is ‘Go Wild’ which means take care of the wild and nature. “Vultures are in danger. In the last ten years, when diclofenac (medicine) was introduced for livestock, they used to get cure, but after their death, vultures used to eat them and it led to their deaths,” said Javadekar.
"We had 40 million vultures. Ten years down, we have now not even 4 lakh vultures left. To revive their populations, efforts are going on at various places. Haryana Chief Minister and I will go and release the vultures into the wild that were raised in captive breeding center” he added.
"They are not zoo birds and they have to live in nature. We have lost vultures in last ten years, in the next ten years, we will revive the vultures as they are the natural scavengers," Javadekar further added.
Vulture has also been included as one of the 17 species identified for recovery programme under Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats scheme. Ministry officials said the vulture recovery programme is intended for urgent recovery of its population and the Ministry has prepared an action plan for it.