The Asiatic Lion (Panthera leo persica) is a subspecies of the lion which survives today only in India where it is also known as the Indian lion. They once ranged from the Mediterranean to India, covering most of Southwest Asia, and hence it is also known as the Persian lion.
Junagadh (Gujarat), May 29 (ANI): Forest officials in the Sasan Gir National Park in Gujarat have begun a two-day census of vultures.
Deputy Conservator of Forest, Gir Forest Sanctuary, Sandeep Kumar, said around 600 forest officials have been deployed to monitor the number of vultures and their behaviour.
"We know the time and are, where the vultures arrive. So, before the time of arrival, the staff takes its place silently in the nearby areas and we try and count the number of adult and child vultures. Along with this, we also note the compositions in which these vultures arrive, we note down the time, the place and silently observe their behaviour. So, this is the kind of observation we do," said Kumar.
Kumar said there are various types of vultures in the forest, including king vulture, long billed vultures, Egyptian vultures and many other species of vultures.
Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Junagarh R.L. Meena said the number would not decrease and would remain stable.
"The estimation of citing would be declared in a proper way at the state level. As per the citing so far, I feel that the number would not decrease, it would remain stable," said Meena.
According to the 2005 census, 2135 vultures were recorded
According to a report in 2010, two US researchers found that the cause of the unprecedented decline in the population of vultures in India was a veterinary drug residue in cattle and livestock carcasses, which was killing most of the South Asian vultures, leaving them on the brink of extinction.
It was discovered the vultures were being poisoned by residues of an anti-inflammatory drug (diclofenac) used in cattle and other livestock, whose carcasses they feed on.
The anti-inflammatory drug was fed to ailing cattle and other livestock, was being ingested by the wild birds feeding on the carcasses and causing visceral gout, a manifestation of renal failure. (ANI)