Vulture Recovery Plan
An internationally-endorsed Recovery Plan for Gyps spp. vultures across South Asia was produced at a workshop held in India.
The main recommendations of the Plan are (1) to ban the veterinary use of diclofenac and (2) to urgently set up captive breeding centres for the three affected species of vulture.
Since the launch of the Recovery Plan, and following consultation with the vulture project partners, the Indian Prime Minister announced that India will phase out the veterinary use of diclofenac and the manufacture of this drug.
The building of captive breeding centres is also taking place. The VCC in Pinjore has been expanded for captive breeding purposes, including the construction of two large colony and breeding aviaries (a third is planned) and a second captive-breeding centre is under construction in West Bengal (funded by a Darwin Initiative grant to the RSPB). It is hoped that permission will be granted for the construction of two or three new centres in India and one in Nepal.
Even with the banning of diclofenac, its effects are taking a long time to go. Therefore, the small populations of vultures left in the wild are still at risk from being poisoned. The excellent captive facilities now constructed for the vultures will allow us to give them the conditions they need to thrive and eventually breed, creating a founding population for the future.