UPSC Current Affairs – 31-03-2019

  • At least 37 vultures belonging to three endangered species died after feeding on pesticide-laced cattle carcass.
  • Most of the 37 vultures that died are Himalayan griffon. A few are oriental white-backed and slender-billed vultures
  •  It was a clear case of poisoning the carcass of a cow by the villagers, meant to killferal dogs. But, as is often the case, the vultures died. It is unfortunate that suchthings happen despite awareness campaigns
    being carried out
  •  A study by the Bombay Natural History Society and other organizations in the1990s found that the population of the Gyps group — Himalayan griffon, white-backed and slender-billed are among its members — in India and Nepal declined from about 40 million by 99.9% in just two decades
  •  In 2003, BNHS found that an increasing number of vultures were dying of kidney failure, which they traced back to the presence of diclofenac—a drug used to treat pain and inflammation in human and cattle—in animal carcasses

In Focus

  •  India has a vulture problem, and it’s not the one you think. In the past 15 years, the country’s vulture population has declined by a whopping 99%.The vulture die-off represents the fastest decline of any species in the world
  •  Vultures are an important part of the food chain. They feed on animal carcasses, preventing the spread of deadly bacteria and fungus into the ground and water
  •  Studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between the decline of vultures in India and the spread of deadly diseases like rabies. “The potential human health impact of rabies associated with the vulture decline is found to be
    significant”.

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