Sunday, 24 October, 2021

Extinction of vultures a threat to environment

Extinction of vultures a threat to environment

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Organisms living in the environment interact with each other to maintain ecological balance. To vindicate the ecosystem, interaction between species dwelling on the earth is immensely needed. Hence, every species plays an efficacious role keeping ecological balance, which could be decimated due to extinction of a particular species living in the environment.

Vultures, birds which normally live in the high temperature countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, etc. and eat the flesh of carcasses, are extremely significant to keep the ecosystem sound. But, unfortunately the existence of vultures in Bangladesh is declining day by day, following which ecological imbalance is emerging notably, which is resulting in the increase in bacteria from rotting carcasses in the environment.

According to the wildlife management and nature conservation department, the number of vultures in our country was 1972 in 2008, but since then it has dwindled to 260 in the last survey wielded in 2016. There are 18 species of vultures existing in the world, of which seven kinds of vultures used to live in Bangladesh. The surveys were undertaken in 2014 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Bangladesh Forest Department. In four years, the White-rumped vultures have become reduced by about 60 per cent.

The loss of habitat and paucity of food are the primary reasons for the vulture's rapid decimation, according to experts. The way vultures are disappearing in our country is alarming, which could have a devastating impact on our country’s environment. There is a filthy prejudice in our country that vultures are ominous creatures, probably this is the reason why mass people aren’t concerned about the disappearance of vultures. Awareness among the people in terms of curbing vulture extinction is needed, while pupils from schools, colleges and universities can take the responsibility of convincing people about the importance of having vultures in the environment.

The Government of Bangladesh has already taken numerous steps to protect vultures. In support of the initiative, the government has already prohibited the use of a medicine known as Ketoprofen, which is hazardous to vultures. In 2014, the government established two vulture sanctuaries in the country - the Rema-Kalenga Wildlife Sanctuary and the Sundarbans. Wildlife Service Foundation (WSF) is working relentlessly to rescue wounded vultures and give them treatment. The government established a Vulture Rescue and Care Center in Dinajpur in 2016, which works for rehabilitation of injured vultures just as the Wildlife Service Foundation is doing.

This write up is done in anticipation of creating awareness among the people of Bangladesh and that the government, so that numerous actions for breeding vultures are undertaken as was done with another moribund animal named Nilgai.


Zawadul Karim, student, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalgonj