Karachi: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has identified Tharparkar as a major sanctuary for vultures; the scavenger bird population recently witnessed a decline in the South Asian region, including Pakistan – a news source reported.
Previously, as part of its vulture conservation project, the union had conducted a survey [funded by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC)] in collaboration with the Sindh wildlife department, the Zoological Survey of Pakistan and Baanhn Beli.
The survey findings revealed Tharparkar as the only place in Sindh with any considerable vulture population –with the Khirthar National Park coming off as a potential breeding zone for the birds. As per the survey reports, over 450 white-backed, red-headed, long-billed and Egyptian vultures reside in Tharparker; with a smaller population living in the Khithar range.
Similarly, 90% of the total 535 vultures in Sindh were spotted in the surrounding area of Gorano pond, which is now a wetland. The pond received saline water pumped out of Thar coal mine. And the creation of a water body in the drought-prone area transformed the surroundings into an attractive habitat for the birds.
Moreover, another 48 species of the said bird were also discovered in the same area by an IUCN team earlier this year.
The survey suggests the creation of ‘Vulture Safe Zones’ in the areas of Tharparkar, Khirthar National Park and Gorakh Hills. The survey also recommends alternative (anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal) drugs to be administrated to the livestock.