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Issue 18
, 2009
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200 vultures sighted near China border

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi, Sep 29, 2009, Date: , 2009

At a time when the vulture population has all but disappeared 99% of India's four crore vultures have died in the last three decades the sighting of around 200 bearded variety of the species in Lahaul-Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, comes as a ray of hope for wildlife enthusiasts. Around 200 of these vultures are spread around the rocky mountains of cold desert area that includes some parts of China. Indian vultures have all but vanished because of feeding on dead livestock that were administered an anti-inflammatory drug called diclofenac that increased the working life of cattle by reducing their joint pain. Scientists at G B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Mohali, said the presence of vulture colony in the Western Himalayas is very encouraging. ``A proper survey should be conducted to make plans for their breeding and conservation,'' he said. The state wildlife department is planning to start a conservation and breeding programme with the help of Bombay Natural History Society for breeding vultures in lower Himachal Pradesh.