The race to prevent the extinction of South Asian vultures

  title={The race to prevent the extinction of South Asian vultures},
  author={Deborah J. Pain and Christopher G. R. Bowden and Andrew A. Cunningham and Richard J. Cuthbert and Devojit Das and Martin Gilbert and Ram D. Jakati and Yadvendradev V. Jhala and Aleem Ahmed Khan and Vinny Naidoo and J. Lindsay Oaks and Jemima Parry-Jones and Vibhu M. Prakash and Asad Rafi Rahmani and Sachin P. Ranade and Hem Sagar Baral and Kalu Ram Senacha and Suntharalingam Saravanan and Nita Shah and Gerry E. Swan and Devendra Swarup and Mark A. Taggart and Richard T. Watson and Munir Z. Virani and Kerri. Wolter and Rhys. E. Green},
  journal={Bird Conservation International},
  pages={S30 - S48}
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… 

Poisoning causing the decline in South-East Asia’s largest vulture population

C Cambodia supports populations of three Critically Endangered vulture species that are believed to have become isolated from the rest of the species’ global range, but a recent spike in the number of reports of the use of poisons in hunting practices suggests the need to re-evaluate the conservation situation.

Vultures in Cambodia: population, threats and conservation

Summary Asian vultures have undergone dramatic declines of 90–99% in the Indian Subcontinent, as a consequence of poisoning by veterinary use of the drug diclofenac, and are at a high risk of

South Asian Vultures in Crisis: Environmental Contamination with a Pharmaceutical

In the late 1990s an unprecedented decline in the population of two of the world’s most abundant raptors, the Oriental White-backed vulture and the Long-billed vulture, was noticed in India and similar catastrophic declines followed in neighboring Pakistan, and a ban on the manufacture of veterinary diclofenac was imposed in 2006.

Avian scavengers and the threat from veterinary pharmaceuticals

The study shows that one pharmaceutical product has had a devastating impact on Asia's vultures and large-scale research and survey were needed to detect, diagnose and quantify the problem and measure the response to remedial actions.

The conservation of Accipitridae vultures of Nepal: a review

Of the nine Accipitridae vulture species found within Nepal the IUCN categorises White-rumped, Indian Vulture, Slender-billed and Red-headed Vultures as Critically Endangered and Egyptian Vulture as

Partial recovery of Critically Endangered Gyps vulture populations in Nepal

Summary Populations of Critically Endangered White-rumped Gyps bengalensis and Slender-billed G. tenuirostris Vultures in Nepal declined rapidly during the 2000s, almost certainly because of the

Historical and current status of vultures in Myanmar

Summary Concerns for the long-term survival of vulture populations on the Indian Subcontinent, owing to widespread poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac, have led to increased conservation

Population trends of Critically Endangered Gyps vultures in the lowlands of Nepal

Three species of resident Gyps vulture are threatened with extinction in South Asia due to the contamination of domestic ungulate carcasses with the drug diclofenac. Observed rates of population

First evidence that populations of the critically endangered Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus in Pakistan have increased following the ban of the toxic veterinary drug diclofenac in south Asia

The results demonstrate for the first time since the onset of the Asian vulture crisis that the ban on veterinary diclofenac is an effective management tool for reversing Long-billed Vulture population declines.

Lead ingestion as a potential contributing factor to the decline in vulture populations in southern Africa




Collapse of Asian vulture populations: risk of mortality from residues of the veterinary drug diclofenac in carcasses of treated cattle

The tissues of cattle treated with diclofenac are a hazard to wild vultures that feed on an animal that dies within a few days after treatment, and withdrawal of the drug from veterinary use on animals whose carcasses may become available to scavenging vulture is recommended.

Removing the Threat of Diclofenac to Critically Endangered Asian Vultures

It is concluded that meloxicam is of low toxicity toGyps vultures and that its use in place of diclofenac would reduce vulture mortality substantially in the Indian subcontinent.

Diclofenac poisoning as a cause of vulture population declines across the Indian subcontinent

It is recommended that urgent action is taken in the range states of the three currently threatened vulture species to prevent the exposure of vultures to livestock carcasses contaminated with diclofenac.

Diclofenac poisoning is widespread in declining vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent

It is shown that a high proportion of Gyps bengalensis and G. indicus found dead or dying in a much larger area of India and Nepal also have residues of diclofenac and visceral gout, a post–mortem finding that is strongly associated with dic-of-enac contamination in both species, suggesting veterinary use of dIClofy is likely to have been the major cause of the rapid vulture population declines across the subcontinent.

Diclofenac residues as the cause of vulture population decline in Pakistan

Results are provided that directly correlate residues of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac with renal failure and renal failure in the Oriental white-backed vulture (OWBV) and it is proposed that residues of veterinary diclotenac are responsible for the OWBV decline.

Indian vultures: victims of an infectious disease epidemic?

Investigation of populations of two species of griffon vulture in India shows infectious disease to be the most tenable of these declines, and examines hypotheses for the cause of the declines.

Rapid population declines of Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and red‐headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus) in India

Analysis of repeated surveys in and near protected areas widely spread across India shows that populations of two other vulture species, Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus and red-headed vulture Sarcogyps calvus, have also declined markedly and rapidly, but probably with a later onset than Gyps vultures in the same region.

Is malaria the cause for decline in the wild population of the Indian White-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis)?

A study carried out in a densely forested and sparsely populated region in Central India found an intracellular malarial parasite was identified from the tissues of both live and dead White-backed vultures and indicated a 95―96% similarity with the mitochondrial sequence of Plas modium falciparum and other Plasmodium species.

Diclofenac residues in carcasses of domestic ungulates available to vultures in India.

Systematics within Gyps vultures: a clade at risk

Phylogenetic analyses and conservative estimates suggest the diversification of Gyps taxa to be within the past 6 million years, and molecular and morphological data provide strong support for considering the "Long-billed" Vulture to be comprised of two species.