alexa Vulture population decline, Diclofenac and avian gout
Geology & Earth Science

Geology & Earth Science

Journal of Geography & Natural Disasters

Author(s): Arun P R, P A Azeez

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Populations of the Gyps vultures of southern Asian countries have been declining precipitously during the recent past,especially in the western parts of its distributional range. A linkage between thecommon non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) ‘Diclofenac’ and the mortality of these vultures was established recently from Pakistan 1 . However, anyconclusive evidence on Diclofenac-poisoning is still lacking from the Indianregion, where the degree of decline hasbeen severe. Post-mortem examinationsof vulture carcasses revealed visceral gout(deposition of uric acid crystals in thetissues) as the cause of mortality in most of the dead birds. The visceral gout condition could be induced by a variety ofpotential factors, mostly associated withenvironmental degradation and climate changes. It appears quite likely that manysuch factors together have made a cumulative contribution towards the observed population decline of Gyps vultures during the recent years, which has pushedthese scavenging sky-lords to near extinction. However, because of the scarcity of studies available on the impact ofthese factors on vultures, the factors would remain speculative until confirmed throughempirical studies. Our aim is to provokeand direct further research in this direction. It is also intended to highlight the need for examining many of thepharmaceuticals and personal-care products from the point of view of their ecological impacts. The Oriental white-backed vultures(OWBV; Gyps bengalensis)

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This article was published in Current science and referenced in Journal of Geography & Natural Disasters

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