36 vultures poisoned to dying in Assam

GUWAHATI: As many as 36 vultures died in Sivasagar‘s Magorahut area after reportedly consuming a poison-laced carcass on Sunday. Seven other vultures were in critical condition and are currently under veterinary care. Sivasagar divisional forest officer Bidya Bordoloi said a complaint has been lodged with the police for the deaths.
Miscreants on Saturday left a poisoned goat carcass at a field 12 km from Sivasagar town. When vultures started consuming the carcass, they started dropping to the ground one by one, till 36 of the birds were dead. All the vultures were , a species that mostly migrates to the state during winter.

“A team from Bombay Natural History Society has reached the spot and is investigating the cause of death,” Bordoloi said.

Himalayan griffon is categorized as “near threatened” in the ‘s red list.

This is not the first time in the state that vultures have been killed in large numbers by using poisoned carcasses. About ten days ago, three vultures were killed in a similar manner, also in Sivsagar district.

“Every year such wildlife crimes are being committed yet the perpetrators are not being booked. The scale of such crimes is a threat to the survival of species and enforcement agencies should take a serious note,” a conservationist said. Two species of vultures which were traditionally found in Assam, the slender-billed and white-backed vultures, are on the verge of extinction. The virtual vacuum created by the decline in their population is now being filled up by the Himalayan griffon, which is a migratory species, the conservationist added.

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