WWF aims to save vultures

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Endangered Oriental white-backed vultures, also known as white-humped vultures, keep a watchful eye on human onlookers from their perches in trees near Kasur in Pakistan’s Changa Manga Forest. The vulture population restoration project is run by the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan in partnership with the Punjab Wildlife and Parks Department, the Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi and the Hawk Conservancy Trust (United Kingdom). Photo courtesy WWF-Pakistan/Syed Muhammad Abubakar.

KASUR,Feb. 2,2014 (Ihsan Qadir / UPI Next) — With several species of vultures on the verge of extinction in Pakistan, largely because of veterinary drugs used on cattle, an environmental group is investing in a captive breeding program it hopes will contribute to the recovery of the iconic birds.

Deep in the Changa Manga forest, 45 miles from Lahore, World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan is working with the Punjab Wildlife Department to restore the population of the Oriental white-backed vulture, also known as the white-rumped vulture. The scavengers have long been a crucial part of the ecosystem in Pakistan and across South Asia, helping to prevent disease and contamination of groundwater by feeding on animal carcasses.

“We are fighting a losing battle but we can minimize the impact,” Hasan Ali, a WWF-Pakistan conservation coordinator, said, speaking through a translator.

Read more  WWF aims to save endangered vultures in Pakistan – UPI.com.

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