Vulture conservation center to come up in India's Uttar Pradesh

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-27 20:26:03|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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NEW DELHI, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Local government in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh would set up a conservation and breeding center for the endangered vulture population, officials said Wednesday.

The center, first of its kind in the state, would come up in Pharenda area of Maharajganj district, about 269 km east of Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh.

"The center will be set up in an area of 5 hectares in Gorakhpur forest division," an official associated with state's forest department said. "The center will be set up on the lines of Jatayu Conservation Breeding Center at Pinjore in neighbouring Haryana."

Officials said 60 percent of the survey related to conservation and breeding center has been completed.

According to officials, during August this year more than 100 vultures were sighted at Pharenda, the site earmarked for establishing the center.

Uttar Pradesh principal chief conservator of forests (Wildlife) Sunil Pandey told media the new center would be set up in association with Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), a wildlife research organization.

" It will be the first scientific center of vultures in the state to find out which species is most threatened and the locations where these natural scavengers are thriving," Pandey said.

A detailed project report of the center prepared by BNHS has been submitted with the higher authorities for funds, officials said.

According to Uttar Pradesh Wildlife officials, a survey carried out in 2014 across 13 districts of the state put the population of vultures at 900.

The Indian vulture (Gyps indicus) found in India, Pakistan and Nepal has been listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List since 2002, as the population severely dwindled.

India's federal environment ministry said in July that a sharp decline in the population of vultures was recorded in the country. The ministry said the population of vultures has come down from 40 million to 19,000 in a span of over three decades.

Figures available with the ministry said the population of three species of endangered resident Gyps vultures - white-backed vulture, long-billed vulture and slender-billed vulture is 6,000, 12,000 and 1,000, respectively.