Slim chance of a future for the slender-billed vulture
ONE of the world's most vulnerable birds has been successfully bred in captivity for the first time, providing a "huge boost" to efforts to prevent it becoming extinct.
The slender-billed vulture, which is rarer than the tiger in India, is one of several Asian species which has seen a dramatic decline in numbers with only 1,000 left in the wild, according to the RSPB.
The slender-billed vulture and the long-billed vulture, have together suffered declines of almost 97 per cent since 1992.
A third critically endangered species, the oriental white-backed vulture, is witnessing its population halve each year and is heading towards extinction faster than the dodo.
The vultures are dying from kidney failure as a result of feeding from the carcases of animals treated with the veterinarian drug Diclofenac.
Chris Bowden, who is in charge of the RSPB's Asian vulture programme, said: "Birds can only be saved from extinction through banning Diclofenac, the promotion of the safe alternative, Meloxicam, and capturing more birds for breeding the breeding programme."
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