Vultures hold great ecological important and we at WWF have been working to save the vultures of Pakistan through various interventions, projects and collaborations. We are involved in ex-situ and in-situ conservations of vultures; our efforts include captive breeding and establishment of Vulture Safe Zones, both of which help in saving vultures from extinction and ensuring their long-term survival.
Gyps Vulture Restoration and Captive Breeding Facility in Changa Manga Forest Reserve in the province of Punjab is the only ex-situ conservation initiative in Pakistan, which is dedicated to holding a safe population of vultures that has potential to breed.
Our ex-situ conservation keeps vultures in good health to ensure breeding and produce as many fledglings as possible.
Artificial incubation is also used when necessary. The idea of this is to transfer birds to release programme to increase population in the wild.
Since past four breeding seasons (2015 to 2018), two chicks were successfully fledged in each breeding season.
Our in-situ conservation is in collaboration with federal and provincial government departments, which helps in integrating research, monitoring, advocacy, capacity building and training, community empowerment and awareness to ensure a viable population of vulture remains in the wild.
An important aspect of in-situ conservation is the establishment of Vulture Safe Zones, where uncontaminated food (NSAIDs free) is provided to the remaining populations of vultures in the wild. These zones also make release sites for the captive-bred vultures.
The objectives is to completely eradicate Diclofenac Sodium and other harmful NSAIDs, that are major threats to vultures, and to enhance availability and usage of the alternate drug Meloxicam through lobbying with pharmaceuticals, veterinarians, relevant government departments and communities.
WWF has also established Vulture Safe Zones in Nagar Parkar, in Sindh and in Mirpur, Kotli, Sudnoti, Muzaddarabad Hattian and Havelian in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K).