KATHMANDU, July 31
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation on Friday released the Vulture Conservation Action Plan for Nepal 2015-19 at a press meet organised in the capital.
Tikaram Adhikari, director general at DNPWC, said the vultures are endangered bird species which are in need of long-lasting conservation programmes, financial investment, scientific expertise and technical support.
“Most national and international level stakeholders working for the conservation of wildlife have partnered with the local organisations to protect the endangered vulture species. The networks of stakeholders have carried out awareness programmes to protect the endangered vulture species sensitively,” Adikhari said.
Declofenac is harmful for the kidney, lungs and hearts of vultures
He stressed that lessons learnt from Vulture Conservation Action Plan for Nepal 2009-2013 will be practically applied to increase the population of residential vultures in Nepal in the next five years.
Maheshwor Dhakal, spokesperson at DNPWC, said scavenger birds like vultures suffer because of intake of chemicals, drugs and medicine while consuming the carcasses of livestock.
“Farmers use declofenac, a medicine to cure diseases among livestock such as cows, goats, buffaloes, bulls and sheep. Vultures consume the carcasses of these animals when they are dumped in open spaces. The intake declofenac that the flesh of these livestock contain is harmful for the kidney, lungs and hearts of vultures,” Dhakal said.
According to him, the action plan will ensure safe food, habitat, breeding sites and declofenac-free zones for the safety of vultures. Meloxicam will be used as alternative to declofenac to heal livestock.
“The flesh of dead livestock containing Meloxicam is not harmful for vultures,” he added. He informed that there are nine vulture species, seven feeding sites and 46 declofenac-free zones in Nepal.
A version of this article appears in print on August 01, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.