Nepali Times
Letters
Vanishing Vultures


Re: 'No more circling' by Samuel Thomas (#185). I am from the Saigha VDC in Dang and my house is near the border with Rolpa. I spent my childhood chasing vultures. These days the carcasses of animals have been replaced by corpses of guerrillas and soldiers, but there were no vultures any more. There were three nests of vultures in my VDC, on a tall pine tree were two pairs of smoky black Pseudogyps bengalensis which flocked to dead animals by river banks. Another pair of white vultures nested on a nearby cliff and were completely white. The nesting pairs used to hatch once once in two or three years but only a single chick eachtime. None of the nests are there anymore. Some of the other vultures were the Rajgiddha (Sarcogyps cahins). But they are also gone. The villagers blame insecticides, and the poison used to kill leopards for vultures vanishing. And it's not just the vultures, the chemicals are killing other birds as well. Samuel Thomas reports that the vultures in India and Pakistan are dying because of the veterinary anti-inflammatory drug, Declofenac, that causes renal failure in vultures. This may be the other reason. The Kathmandu Declaration of Insecticides and Pesticides may show government commitment, but unless this translates to action to stop agro-chemicals and drugs, the birds are doomed. In the short tem vulture breeding programs need to be started immediately in Chitwan and Kosi Tappu.

Mati Pun,
email


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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