Corbett: TOFT Focus


India has nine species of vultures in wild and only a decade ago, the population of vultures in India was estimated at over 80 million. Now, their numbers are down to a few thousand. This is due to a drug called Diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is widely used to treat cattle (an illegal activity as the use of Diclofenac in livestock was banned in 2008). The conservation of Vultures has become one of the top conservation priorities in India. Contributing towards this goal, Society for Mahseer Conservancy started its Vulture conservation programme in June 2010 in Uttarakhand (Uttarakhand having all the nine species of vultures found in India) backed by a number of sponsors including one lakh rupees from TOFT . The objectives of our program are to sanitise Uttarakhand and adjoining Uttar Pradesh from Diclofenac by 2014 - to ensure that it is synchronised with the planned BNHS captive bred vultures release in 2015, to build awareness about eliminating the use of Diclofenac and promote Meloxicam as the alternative drug and to bring about behaviour change among local communities for safe disposal of Diclofenac treated dead animals.

The project monitors nesting sites, carries out awareness building programmes amongst villagers about the importance of vultures, visits pharmaceuticals, quacks and vets to discourage use of illegal drugs and provide alternatives, and a host of other important programmes.

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