Asia’s first ‘Gyps Vulture Reintroduction Programme’ launched
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recently launched ‘Gyps Vulture Reintroduction Programme’ by putting ten captive bred vultures in pre-release aviaries close to Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre at Pinjore near here.
The exercise was part of reintroduction programme in the pre-release aviary, where birds will have an unobstructed view of the surrounding.
It will also help them in getting use to the habitat in which they would be released in future.
The ten vultures released by the CM include two Himalayan Griffons, which were brought as sick birds. They have been in captivity for last ten years.
All the vultures have dummy satellite transmitters fitted as a back pack, but it will be replaced with actual transmitters at least a week before they are released in the wild. It will help in tracking the vultures.
Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre, run by Haryana Wild Life Department and the Forest Department, has been constantly working to increase their numbers through breeding and conservation, he said.
Saving Asian vulture from fatal drugs :-
- After successfully campaigning for the ban on multi-dose vials of painkiller drug diclofenac in veterinary use, conservationists have stepped up pressure for withdrawing two more drugs – Ketoprofen & Aceclofenac, which they say, are fatal for Asian vultures.
- The “three species of Gyps vultures endemic to South and Southeast Asia, oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis), long-billed vulture (G. indicus) and slender-billed vulture (G. tenuirostris), are the worst affected and are threatened with global extinction after rapid population declines, which began in the mid-1990s
- IUCN lists Vultures as Critically Endangered
- Why do we need to save Vultures:-
- The disappearance of vultures has allowed other species, such as rats and wild dogs, to take their place. These newly abundant scavengers, however, are not as efficient as vultures. A vulture’s metabolism is a true “dead-end” for pathogens, but dogs and rats become carriers of the pathogens.
- Wild dogs, carrying diseases from rotting carcasses (rabies, anthrax, plague, etc.),are directly or indirectly responsible for thousands of human deaths. Today in India, 30,000 people die from rabies each year, more than half the world’s total.Hence Wild Dogs are inefficient scavengers.
- Treating these diseases is extremely costly for the Indian government and people. Around half a million Indians are treated for rabies each year, at a cost of 1500 rupees per person,
- Cultural :-
- While the sanitary, ecological, and economic consequences are considerable, the cultural impact is also notable.
- According to Parsi beliefs, Earth, Fire, and Water are sacred elements, and both cremation and burial are sacrilegious. For the deceased Parsi to reach heaven, vultures serve as intermediaries between earth and sky. The dead body is placed on a Tower of Silence where vultures, by consuming the body, liberate the soul.
- The 82,000 Parsi Indians, deprived of their celestial emissaries, have been obliged to drop these ancient customs for reasons of hygiene, since now bodies take six months to disappear.
It’s raining cheer
For the first time in three years, the India Meteorological Department has projected that the monsoon rains will be above normal. Rainfall during the June to September southwest monsoon season is forecast to be 106 per cent of the long period average, with a margin of error of 4 per cent.
Coming as the forecast does after two years of an acute drought that has turned large swathes of the hinterland into parched dustbowls, and a scorching summer that has sent the mercury soaring past records in many regions, the prospect of abundant rains is obviously cause for cheer.
With the lives of more than two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people directly linked to the fortunes of the rural economy, and almost 80 per cent of India’s annual rainfall a product of the southwest monsoon, the importance of the IMD’s prediction cannot be overstated.
Significantly, the Met department also expects the above-normal rains to be well distributed across the key crop farming areas in the north-west, central and southern peninsular regions, with the likelihood of a shortfall seen only for the north-east.
In its April policy statement, the Reserve Bank of India had highlighted the significance of the rains to monetary policy when it said a normal monsoon in 2016 could provide a “favourable supply shock” by strengthening rural demand and augmenting the availability of farm produce that would help moderate inflation.
While agriculture and allied economic activities contribute just a little over 15 per cent to overall Gross Value Added, they have a disproportionate impact on rural consumption, as they provide livelihood for almost half of the country’s workforce.
So for manufacturers of goods ranging from personal care products to tractors, a bountiful monsoon can potentially deliver a substantial boost to sales. Adequate rainfall, especially in upstream catchment areas, would also help improve electricity supply in States more dependent on hydel-power, such as Karnataka and Kerala.
India joins The Hague Code of Conduct
India has joined The Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCoC).
India’s joining the Code signals its readiness to further strengthen the global non-proliferation regimes.
The government has also made it clear that this joining will not have any impact on the national security as well as country’s missile programmes.
Details about HCoC
HCoC is a global ballistic missile proliferation regime established in 2002. It is a voluntary legally non-binding multilateral body aimed at preventing the spread of ballistic missiles that can deliver weapons of mass destruction.
It is the only multilateral code in the area of disarmament which has been adopted over the last years. It is the only normative instrument to verify the spread of ballistic missiles.
The HCOC does not ban ballistic missiles, but it does call for restraint in their production, testing, and export. Presently, there are 137 signatories.
The Code is meant to supplement the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) but its membership is not restricted. Under the Code, States make politically binding commitments to curb the proliferation of WMD-capable ballistic missiles and to exercise maximum restraint in developing, testing, and deploying such missiles.