From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Diclofenac, Indian Vulture
Mains level : Not Much
- Starting with just a few vultures, the total number of vultures in the VCBCs has increased to more than 700.
Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centres
- The VCBC were started in 2004 when the vulture population had already crashed significantly, almost by 99 %.
- At present there are nine (VCBC) in India, of which three are directly administered by Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
- The three species of vultures bred in the VCBC are the White-backed, Long-billed and the Slender-billed vulture.
- The objective of the VCBCs was not only to look after the vultures and breed them in captivity, but also to release them into the wild.
- The first objective of the VCBC was to produce a few hundred pairs of each of the three species of the endangered vultures.
Threat to vultures
- The major reason behind the vulture population getting nearly wiped out was the drug Diclofenac found in the carcass of cattle the vultures fed on.
- The drug, whose veterinary use was banned in 2008, was commonly administered to cattle to treat inflammation.