Breeding success for endangered Asian Vultures
Wednesday 10 January 2007
ZSL is delighted to announce the birth of the first Asian white-backed vulture chick in captivity in India.
The chick was born at the breeding centre in Pinjore, northern India, established by ZSL with the Bombay Natural History Society and the RSPB, with funding from the UK Government’s Darwin Initiative and the National Birds of Prey Trust in 2003. Since that time, ZSL has provided technical advice to the centre to ensure breeding success and high standards of veterinary care. The centre initially investigated the causes of the dramatic declines in vulture populations and found that the use of the drug diclofenac in livestock poisoned the vultures that fed on the animals.
Once this was identified, the focus of the centre changed to concentrate on breeding the three most critically endangered vulture species, the Asian white-backed vulture, the Indian long-billed vulture and the slender-billed vulture.
Nick Lindsay, ZSL’s Head of International Zoo Programmes, commented, “We are delighted by the birth of this chick, which will be the first of many at the centre. It is essential that we continue to focus our team’s efforts on not only the captive breeding programme, but also the replacement of the diclofenac drug with an alternative, in order to protect these critically endangered species.”