Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The race to prevent the extinction of South Asian vultures

  • Deborah J. Pain (a1), Christopher G. R. Bowden (a1), Andrew A. Cunningham (a2), Richard Cuthbert (a1), Devojit Das (a3), Martin Gilbert (a4), Ram D. Jakati (a5), Yadvendradev Jhala (a6), Aleem A. Khan (a7), Vinny Naidoo (a8), J. Lindsay Oaks (a9), Jemima Parry-Jones (a10), Vibhu Prakash (a3), Asad Rahmani (a3), Sachin P. Ranade (a3), Hem Sagar Baral (a11), Kalu Ram Senacha (a3), S. Saravanan (a3), Nita Shah (a3), Gerry Swan (a8), Devendra Swarup (a12), Mark A. Taggart (a13), Richard T. Watson (a4), Munir Z. Virani (a4), Kerri Wolter (a14) and Rhys E. Green (a1)...
Abstract
Abstract

Gyps vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent collapsed in the 1990s and continue to decline. Repeated population surveys showed that the rate of decline was so rapid that elevated mortality of adult birds must be a key demographic mechanism. Post mortem examination showed that the majority of dead vultures had visceral gout, due to kidney damage. The realisation that diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug potentially nephrotoxic to birds, had become a widely used veterinary medicine led to the identification of diclofenac poisoning as the cause of the decline. Surveys of diclofenac contamination of domestic ungulate carcasses, combined with vulture population modelling, show that the level of contamination is sufficient for it to be the sole cause of the decline. Testing on vultures of meloxicam, an alternative NSAID for livestock treatment, showed that it did not harm them at concentrations likely to be encountered by wild birds and would be a safe replacement for diclofenac. The manufacture of diclofenac for veterinary use has been banned, but its sale has not. Consequently, it may be some years before diclofenac is removed from the vultures' food supply. In the meantime, captive populations of three vulture species have been established to provide sources of birds for future reintroduction programmes.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The race to prevent the extinction of South Asian vultures
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The race to prevent the extinction of South Asian vultures
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The race to prevent the extinction of South Asian vultures
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
* Author for correspondence; Director of Conservation, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT), Slimbridge, Glos GL2 7BT, U.K.; e-mail: Debbie.Pain@wwt.org.uk
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Bird Conservation International
  • ISSN: 0959-2709
  • EISSN: 1474-0001
  • URL: /core/journals/bird-conservation-international
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 152 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 207 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd April 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.