Team Blitz India
MUMBAI: For the first time in Maharashtra, a Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centre (VCBC) will be set up at Pingori near Pune as the Maharashtra Forest Department and Ela Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) recently towards this.
The centre will come up at the Ela Habitat, a field station of Ela Foundation, which has Viloo C Poonawalla Hospital for Wildlife.
Vultures are an ecologically vital group of birds that face various threats. Populations of many species are under pressure and some species are facing extinction. For creating awareness about the bird, International Vulture Awareness Day is observed on the first Saturday of every September.
Vultures provide critically important ecosystem services by cleaning up carcasses and other organic waste. They are nature’s garbage collectors and this translates into significant economic benefits.
Studies have shown that in areas where there are no vultures, carcasses take up to three or four times longer to decompose. This has huge implications for the spread of diseases in animals, as well as elevating pathogenic risks to humans. VCBC would require infrastructure, including vulture cages/enclosures, incubation area, quarantine zone, feeding and keeping areas for species, laboratory, and office, apart from vulture feeding facilities and food expenses.