LAHORE: The first ever breeding records of endangered Egyptian vulture in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) reveal that only 68 vultures were seen in a 835-kilometre distance.

According to a study by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan to explore the breeding population of endangered Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) in the AJK, a field survey was carried out in June 2014.

A total of 835-kilometre distance was travelled in the AJK covering Mirpur, Kotli, Sudhnoti, Poonch, Bagh and Muzaffarabad districts.

During the survey, 68 Egyptian vultures -- adults, sub adults and juveniles -- were seen. In addition to the Egyptian vultures, critically endangered white-backed vultures were also seen in different locations. Previously this specie was known a resident of the plains of Punjab and Sindh province and locally migratory in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and northern mountain regions of Pakistan.

The report says the Egyptian vulture, also called the white scavenger vulture, is a small sized bird distributed from southwestern Europe, northern Africa to India. Egyptian vulture populations have declined in most parts of its range. In Europe and most of the Middle East, populations in 2001 were half of those from 1980. In India, the decline has been rapid with a 35 per cent decrease each year since 1999.

The exact cause of the decline is not known, but has been linked with the use of the NSAID Diclofenac, which has been known to cause death in Gyps vultures. The communities reported that birds die because people poison livestock carcasses to kill leopards.

Published in Dawn, July 19th , 2014

Opinion

Editorial

Saudi investment
Updated 10 Apr, 2024

Saudi investment

The state has to address barriers that stand in the way of attracting foreign investment, and create a pro-business environment.
Charity for change
Updated 11 Apr, 2024

Charity for change

PAKISTANIS are large-hearted people who empty their pockets at the slightest hint of another’s need. The Stanford...
World Bank’s advice
Updated 09 Apr, 2024

World Bank’s advice

The next IMF programme will be far tougher than any other Pakistan has embarked on in the past.
Middle East heat
09 Apr, 2024

Middle East heat

America must communicate to Israel that further provocations, particularly targeting sovereign states, will be unacceptable.
Killing fields
09 Apr, 2024

Killing fields

PERHAPS rankled by the daily flood of grisly news — murders, armed robberies, muggings and kidnappings — and...