Guwahati: The WWF Assam State Office organised a programme on the occasion of International Vulture Awareness Day on Friday at the Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre in Rani.

WWF AAPSO State Coordinator Archita Baruah Bhattacharyya started the programme with a brief on vultures and the importance of bringing back the vulture. Besides, vulture posters were also distributed among the youth of various colleges and universities.

Sachin P. Ranade, Assistant Director BNHS Assam, addressed the participants by giving an overview of vulture conservation and the breeding centre.

The WWF India has launched a poster titled – Bring Back the Vulture – with conservation information to safeguard the endangered species on International Vulture Awareness Day.

The poster will be shared with state forest and education departments and other institutions for spreading awareness about these species and call for action to conserve them.

The poster will be available in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali and Assamese for a wider reach at the grassroots level.

Vultures are often demonised due to the way they appear and the task they perform in nature’s food chain. This undermines their importance as cleaners of our environment, controlling the spread of diseases from decaying dead animals.

To improve the understanding of people about vultures, WWF India has created the poster- Bring Back the Vulture- highlighting the nine species of vultures found in our country.

The population of vultures has declined to low number and their conservation in the country is imperative. Various steps like captive breeding of a few species, banning the use of diclofenac sodium in veterinary treatment and monitoring vulture populations in the wild have been taken up by the government and several conservation organisations.

Ravi Singh, Secretary-General and CEO, WWF India said, “Spreading awareness about the species of vultures in India will help address the need of conserving them. Some conservation efforts are being made to protect and improve the vulture populations in the country. With initiatives like these, we hope the populations of vultures increase and that they will continue to contribute ecological services at some scale.”

Dr. Diwakar Sharma, Director, National Conservation Programme WWF India said, “To take a step further towards the conservation of the raptor species, WWF India started a month-long vulture count through citizens science last September and this is being done again in September this year.”

“The aim is to involve bird enthusiasts and train them in identifying vultures and recording the observations on eBird India for monitoring vulture populations,” he added.

The poster has illustrations and information on each species – White-rumped vultures, Indian long-billed vulture, Slender-billed vulture, Red-headed vulture, Egyptian vulture, Cinereous vulture, Bearded vulture, Himalayan Griffon and Eurasian Griffon- which include their conservation status.

With the need to safeguard these important species, information on how they support our ecosystem, what happens in their absence and what we can do to save their remnant populations is stated to raise awareness of these threatened birds.

The poster will share information with the reader on the importance of vultures and how we can try to save them.

The WWF India is going to conduct vulture count programme across India through citizen science to record vulture’s presence and absence on eBird throughout September from various locations in the country.

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