Monday, February 28, 2011

Vultures on the verge of extinction - 28th Feb 2011

Seeing vultures flying high in the sky is already a thing of the past in most parts of the country. Any further delay in starting efforts for conservation will lead to extinction of these ‘natural scavengers’ in five years.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has changed the status of long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus) and slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘critically endangered’ species in South Asia, including Pakistan.

According to Save Our Species (SOS), a global coalition initiated by three founding partners IUCN, GEF and World Bank, vultures are specialised feeders in the ecosystem with the ability to consume carcasses to the bone. Without vultures, these carcasses would rot and taken over by disease-causing organisms that cause anthrax and botulism.

“Vultures have an extremely important ecological role as they are sanitizers of nature and their decline would eventually increase the stray dog population, which is also a health hazard for
human communities,” said a report compiled by the SOS. Read More