Vultures are natural scavengers of ecosystem which feed on dead organisms and help in cleaning of ecosystem. Indian vulture is critically endangered species because population of these species has sharply declined with biomagnification. Diclofenac chemical (painkiller) was injected in cattle to make them work in farm areas for long time duration. After death of cattle, this chemical increased in concentration in Indian vultures. This chemical resulted in immediate death of members of Indian vulture.
Project Vulture was launched by Government of India in 2006 to increase population of Indian vultures. Following methods are used under this programme:
- Diclofenac has been completely banned for veterinary use in Indian since 2006.
- In-situ conservation strategy – Vulture Safe Zone (VSZ) have been declared in India. These VSZ are habitat of Indian vulture in which use of any chemical is strictly prohibited by the Indian Government.
- Ex-situ conservation strategy –Four Vulture Conservation Breeding Centres have been established in India for breeding of this species. These centres are established at Guwahati (Assam), Pinjore (Haryana), Buxa (West Bengal) and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).