Panchkula: The Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, has lauded the vulture breeding and conservation programme being carried out by the Haryana government in Pinjore. “With the success the programme has become, I believe we would again touch the number of four crore vultures in the country in the next 10 years,” he added. He was speaking after launching Asia’s First ‘Gyps Vulture Reintroduction Programme’ along with the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, at Pinjore on Friday. They jointly released two Himalayan Griffons in the wild from the Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore. When they lifted the front netting giving the captive Himalayan Griffons the option of joining the wild Griffons, the released vultures readily stepped outside and joined the wild vultures.
Javadekar lauded the support extended by the the state government in reintroduction of the programme. While releasing captive vultures in pre-release aviaries close to the breeding centre, he gave one the name ‘Jodh Singh’. The government has fixed a target to increase the existing 20 per cent forest cover in the country to 33 per cent, he added. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister described the breeding and conservation of vultures as a significant step in the direction of saving the species. It is a matter of concern that the species of vulture has become endangered.
Almost 95 per cent vultures have disappeared and the reason is Diclofenac, a pain killer drug given to cattle which can kill them. When vultures feed on the carcasses of animals with Diclofenac, they also die. Later the drug was banned by the government. As vultures play a vital role in keeping the environment clean, their breeds should be increased and the government is constantly working to increase their numbers. Haryana and other states are also working in the direction of conservation of vultures, he added. Manohar Lal Khattar said that the Haryana government was formulating a scheme to conserve forests in the state.
Besides various schemes in the Shivalik hills, the 500-meter area around Mangar Bani has been declared ‘no construction zone’ by the state government. The government is also formulating a scheme to develop Herbal Park in 500 acres of land in Morni. The Haryana Forests and Wildlife Minster, Rao Narbir Singh, appreciated the scientific management of the Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore and said that the state government would leave no stone unturned in ensuring vulture conservation. Having been in captivity for many years, it will be interesting to see how they adjust to wild conditions. These were kept in the release aviary just outside the vulture centre.
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