Recently the Wildlife monitoring agencies came across new nesting sites of the endangered White-back and Long-billed Vultures, specie which has experienced fast decline in their population in the region. Emboldened by the new development, the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) has established a sanctuary for the specie in the Nagarparker Town.
Vultures play an important role in the ecosystem of any region, working as the natural recycling units which devour and consume the flesh of the dead and decaying animals. They not only control the spread of deadly disease like Anthrax, Tuberculosis and Foot-and-Mouth diseases, but also add to the beauty and the diversity of the region.
Omair Shahid, who has been working with the WWF and has been to the project site many times, said that: “Vultures are poisoned by Diclofenac which causes immediate death when they eat carcasses of livestock that have been administered veterinary Diclofenac”.
The necropsy of dead vultures showed that 80pc of adults, 63pc of sub-adults, 19pc of juveniles and 13pc of nestlings had visceral gout (a disease of birds in which kidney failure causes a build-up or urates in the internal organs) and this finding was consistent with the earlier reports from India.
The drug was banned by the Government in the year 2008 but its use has not been successfully checked over the span of time.
There are other species of the birds dwelling the area but their population is stable for the moment.
In a recent survey conducted throughout Pakistan in the vulture breeding season from November 2010 to April 2011, a total of 457 Egyptian vultures, 167 Eurasian Griffon, 43 white-backed vultures, three king/black vultures, seven cinereous vultures, 55 long-billed vultures and 89 Himalayan griffon were seen across 77 sites in Pakistan.