New Delhi: Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav, who on Monday visited the Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centre in Haryana’s Pinjore, said the vultures may be released in the wild after breeding.
He also assured technical and financial support for the development of the Jatayu Vulture Breeding Centre. It is proposed to release Oriental white-backed vultures in to the wild during 2023-24. The released birds will be monitored closely for at least a year with satellite transmitters and any behaviour problems checked to make sure that they adjust well to the wild conditions and there is no mortality due to diclofenac poisoning. Thereafter the birds would be released regularly in the wild every year.
The Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre (JCBC), was established to investigate the dramatic decline in the population of the three India’s Gyps species of vultures, the Oriental white-backed, Long-billed and Slender-billed vultures, from looming extinction. It is a collaborative initiative between the Haryana Forest Department and Bombay Natural History Society.
The main objectives of the centre were to establish a founder population of 25 pairs of each of the 3 species of vultures and to produce a population of at least 200 birds, in 15 years of each species to be reintroduced to the wild.
Haryana’s Principal Chief Conservator, Forest-Wildlife Pankaj Goyal said that the Centre has continued its efforts to make the environment safe for vultures in the wild by monitoring the prevalence of vulture toxic drugs, specially diclofenac in veterinary use by carrying out cattle carcass samplings across the country.
The breeding centre is coordinating with Central Zoo Authority for the Vulture Conservation Breeding Programme.
He also said that different species of exotic birds and animals are being brought into Haryana from other states at the Pipli, Rohtak and Bhiwani Zoos for promotion and development of wildlife tourism and generate awareness among students for wildlife and environment.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force Jagdish Chandra said that the centre will also be providing the founder stock of vultures to other vulture conservation breeding facilities in the country.