Friday, August 1, 2008

Vulture is extinct from Tripura

Agartala: Vulture which were seen in abundance in Tripura have now become extinct for about a decade due to scarcity of food, official sources said.

Deputy conservator of Forest, Prasenjit Biswas , who is also a famous ornithologist of the state said ,natures most effective cleaning machine has almost disappeared from the skyline of Tripura.

Biwas,who authored a book titled as The Last Flight of the Vulture said, “I have been watching birds for the last 20 years in the state, but, have not spotted a single vulture in last ten years.
Tripura had plenty of vultures earlier, he said adding many birds used to sit in the twigs of a tall tree near my house.

“The cause for disappearance of the feathered scavengers may be due to lack of food and human encroachment into their habitats,” he told

“Now they are not getting their natural foods because human bodies are hardly dumped in the open and animal carcasses are safely disposed off. This has deprived the vultures of their natural food”, he added.
Forest officials said not only in Tripura, the vulture population had declined by catastrophic 97 percent in the past decade throughout the world.

In Gujarat and Maharashtra, the domestic cattle’s are given a veterinary medicine-Declofena, along with diet. The vultures die when they consume the carcasses of such animals.

This fact came into light in 2001 when Gujarat and Maharashtra Government conducted a research , officials said.

However, Biswas said, Declofena is not used in Tripura, even as the vultures have disappeared from the skyline. He said , he is conducting further researches why vultures in the state faced extension.

The ornithologist said that due to consum on of carcasses effected by declofena, the shells of the eggs of vultures become thin and young birds die within the shell.

Large flocks of vultures used to be sighted on the vast Dammbur lake in South Tripura district as a good number of animal carcasses were available in the lake and adjacent deep forest .

The Sipahijala sanctuary in West Tripura district and Rudrasagar lake in Melaghar of the same district were the abodes of vultures, but no “Patient bird” is now sighted there.

Biswas said, Tripura Government had ventured for conservation breeding in Sipaheejala sanctuary two years ago, but adequate funds were not released by the Zoo Authority of India on the plea that one such project was launched at Pinjore at Haryana. Very recently, a pair of vulture was born at

Pinjore in captive breeding, Biswas said adding Royal Society for Protection of Birds have named those vultures as phoenix.

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