The popular publication Northeast Today has reported the tragic death of 32 rare scavengers, among which were Himalayan Griffin vultures.
In what may be termed as the largest case of poisoning of Scavenging birds after 2011 in Assam, it has come to light that the carcass of a goat, poisoned for the dogs that killed it, claimed the lives of 32 rare vultures in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district on Saturday. Seven survived, of which four were released on Sunday after treatment.
Officials of the Vulture Breeding Conservation Centre near Guwahati said Saturday’s was the biggest case of poisoning of the scavenging birds whose survival is crucial for ecological balance on earth.
The last case of mass poisoning was reported from western Assam’s Goalpara district in March 2011. At least 20 vultures had died then after consuming the poisoned carcass of a dog.
“The death of all the vultures has been a major loss, but the good thing is seven survived. We are trying to get the man who is believed to have poisoned the goat’s carcass,” Bidya Bordoloi, DFO of Sivasagar Division told The Hindu.
Conservationist Simanta Medhi said doctors of Bombay Natural History Society that runs the vulture breeding centre in collaboration with the Assam forest department, flushed out the poison from the system of the vultures and provided medication.
“Only seven could make it, and four of them have been released. The remaining three needs some more treatment,” he said.
Among the survivors, three each are Himalayan griffon (Gyps himalayensis) and slender-billed (Gyps tenuirostris) while one is white-backed (Gyps africanus). Of the 32 that died, 29 were Himalayan griffons.