DADELDHURA, Sept 22: Alarmed by the sharp decline in the vulture population, a team of Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) has started monitoring and surveying the situation of the vultures in the villages of Far Western Region.
“In the first phase, we are searching for vulture habitats near the highway,” Sagar Paudel, a veterinary officer with BCN, said. “So far we have found three types of vultures in Dadeldhura and Baitadi.”
He also informed that they had found 11 nests of vultures in the two districts and his team is searching the main habitat of himalayan griffon vulture, white rumped vulture, among others, in the region.
According to Paudel, the team has tracked vultures in Khodpe of Baitadi, Koteli of Dadeldhura, Jogbuda and Ganeshpur. The team is now monitoring the vultures in the rural area of Dadeldhura, Baidati and Darchula.
“On receiving information about the presence of the vultures in the region, we decided to conduct a study,” said vulture monitor, Manoj Joshi. “We have already visited over dozen rural areas in far western region.”
According to BCN, the survey is being conducted to look for ways to save the natural scavengers as around 91 percent of vultures have already disappeared from the country.
The lethal residue of diclofenac, a veterinary painkilling drug, in livestock carcasses, has been cited as the main cause behind the decline in vulture population. Vultures feeding on the carcasses of animals treated with the drug suffer renal failure and die.
BCN informed that 500 vulture nests across the county are under regular monitoring since the last 3 years.
The organization has also started campaign to make Dadeldhura and Baitadi districts diclofenac free zones to save vulture population. Nine species of vultures are found in Nepal. Vultures are found in higher number in the western region of the country, according to BCN.