03 November, 2011
International Vulture Awareness Day was celebrated in Lahore on the 3rd of November. Usually celebrated in the month of September, Pakistan delayed the outdoor activities due to the Dengue epidemic that was widespread in Lahore. The American School of International Academics (ASIA) participated in an Essay and Poster Making Competition highlighting the threats that face the Gyps White backed Vulture (Gyps bengalensis). 15 students from ASIA were invited to visit the Gyps Vulture Restoration Centre to celebrate the day. The students took part in feeding activities and were shown around the centre. The centre houses a main aviary and small breeding aviaries, where the students were able to see four vulture juveniles. Once reaching an appropriate age, these juveniles are released into the main aviary. The students were also shown the onsite organically reared goat farm. The goats are reared as vulture feed to ensure they are fed healthy meat.
From the year 2000-2003, Pakistan has seen a 50% decrease in the population of the White backed vulture. This was primarily due to the use of Diclofenac sodium, a drug administered to livestock. When the vultures fed upon the carcass of such livestock, it would cause immediate renal failure in the form of visceral gout. The drug has been effectively banned since the year 2006, however bringing the population back up to a sustainable level still requires tough conservation work. WWF – Pakistan is carrying out ex-situ work in the form of a Restoration Centre in Changa Manga, where the current population of White backed vultures is 21. Captive breeding and maintaining a safe population is the aim of the centre.
Both teachers and students were able to witness, first hand, the conservation initiatives carried out by WWF – Pakistan. Their response was very positive and we hope to carry out activities with this school in the future seeing the eagerness with which they participated.
In order to see the winning entries from the Poster Making Competition, please visit International Vulture Awareness Day
Special interest tours are available by prior arrangement. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
World Wide Fund for Nature - Pakistan was formed in 1970 to address the growing environmental and conservation issues in Pakistan that not only affected the flora and fauna, but were also affecting the human population. WWF – Pakistan is a non-profit organisation, working preserve, conserve and save our environment and natural resources. Today, WWF - Pakistan works through 31 offices with a team of approximately 340 dedicated staff members. We have our Head Office in Lahore, regional offices in Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Gilgit, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Quetta, and project offices wherever there is need and the potential to make a difference.
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