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Separate vulture breeding and conservation centre at Haldwani zoo

With the numbers of vultures dwindling across the country as well as Uttarakhand, the state forest department has decided to breed and conserve the critically endangered winged scavengers at the proposed zoo in Haldwani

cities Updated: Mar 15, 2018 22:17 IST
Abhinav Madhwal
Abhinav Madhwal
Hindustan Times, Haldwani
Uttarakhand news,vulture breeding and conservation centre,Haldwani
A vulture conservation and breeding centre will be set up at the Haldwani zoo.(Representative Picture/HT File Photo.)

With the numbers of vultures dwindling across the country as well as Uttarakhand, the state forest department has decided to breed and conserve the critically endangered winged scavengers at the proposed zoo in Haldwani, an official said.

The Haldwani Zoo has got the approvals and the construction work of the vulture breeding and conservation centre will begin soon for which there is no time frame,” said Parag Madhukar Dhakate, conservator of forest (western division)

“The zoo will be spread across 450 hectare of land and will cost ₹200 crore,” he said.

“The vulture conservation centre will be built at the cost of ₹5 crore spread across two hectare area, which will be not be open to people.”

Dhakate further said that though the vulture breeding centre will be located within the zoo premises, it will be a totally separate entity.

“This will be a big centre for the state and will serve as a milestone in the field of vulture conservation in not just the state but whole of North India,” said Dhakate.

The endangered winged scavengers and have an important place in the eco-system and India has nine species of vultures.

A vulture breeding centre has been set up in Haryana’s Pinjore town which is known as the Jatayu Breeding Conservation Centre and is run jointly by the Haryana forest department and the Bombay Natural History Society.

From population of millions in 1980s, the number of vultures has come down to a couple of thousands due to the use of medicines like diclofenac--a drug used as a painkiller for animals.

Forest officials are also trying to curb the use of diclofenac, which hampers the functioning of kidneys and other organs of the winged scavengers.

Conservationists say four out of the five major vulture species in India are critically endangered because vultures have been badly affected by the use of the painkiller diclofenac in cattle.

Vultures feeding on the cattle either die of acute kidney failure within a few days or lose their ability to reproduce.

Apart from the centre in Haldwani, there are other vulture conservation and breeding centres in Pinjore in Haryana, Buxa in West Bengal, Rani in Assam and one on the outskirts of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh to breed these birds in captivity, run by Bombay Natural History Society in cooperation with state forest departments.

There are four more centres that are managed by the Central Zoo Authority.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 21:27 IST