IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Vulture conservation

5th November, 2020 Environment

Context: The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has cleared a plan for conserving vultures.

Saliently, the drugs that are used to treat cattle and known to poison vultures will be banned by the Drugs Controller General of India.


  • Diclofenac, a drug used to treat cattle, was linked to kidney failure in vultures and a decline in the bird’s population.
  • Though the drug was banned in 2006, it is reportedly still available for use.
  • Diclofenac, that are potentially toxic to vultures being used by vets for treating cattle. The drugs make their way into the vulture’s system as they feed on carcasses.
  • Three of India’s vulture species of the genus ‘Gyps’— the long-billed (Gyps indicus) and the slender-billed (G. tenuirostris) had declined by 97%, while in the white-rumped (G. bengalensis) declined nearly 99% between 1992 and 2007.

‘Action Plan for Vulture Conservation 2020-2025’

  • It proposes to establish Vulture Conservation Breeding Centres in Uttar Pradesh, Tripura, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • There would also be a conservation breeding programme for the Red Headed vulture and Egyptian vulture, and at least one “Vulture Safe Zone” in every State for the conservation of the remnant populations.
  • There would be four rescue centres in different geographical areas:
    • Pinjore in north India,
    • Bhopal in central India,
    • Guwahati in northeast India and
    • Hyderabad in south India,

as well as regular surveys to track population numbers, the plan envisages.

National Board for Wildlife

  • The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is constituted by the Central Government under Section 5 A of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA).
  • The National Board may, at its discretion, constitute a Standing Committee under sub-section (1) of Section 5B.
  • The Standing Committee shall consist of the Vice-Chairperson (Union Minister in charge of Forests and Wildlife) the Member Secretary and not more than ten members to be nominated by the Vice-Chairperson from amongst the members of the National Board.