Starting with just a few vultures, the total number of vultures in the Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centers (VCBC) has increased to more than 700.
The population of the Vultures in the country declined sharply from 40 million in the 80s to a few thousand by 2009. The Major reason behind the vulture population getting nearly wiped out was the drug Diclofenac, found in the carcass of cattle the vultures fed on. The drug, whose veterinary use was banned in 2008, was commonly administered to cattle to treat inflammation.
Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centers (VCBC):
To study the cause of deaths of vultures, a Vulture Care Center (VCC) was set up at Pinjore, Haryana in 2004. At present, there are nine Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centers in India, of which three are directly administered by Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
The objective of the VCBCs is not only to look after the vultures and breed them in captivity, but also to release them into the wild.
The total number of vultures in these VCBCs is now more than 700. The three endangered species of the vultures bred in the VCBC are the White-backed, long-billed, and the slender-billed vulture.