King vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)

Imagine the world without vultures! Most see vultures as dirty and unpleasant, but the fact is that without them decaying flesh of all species would contaminate their surroundings and ground water with countless diseases. Humans are far less efficient in dealing with this, than vultures.

Yet humanity has failed them in a profound way, perhaps the worst case is in India were 99% of all vulture species were killed due to the introduction of the painkiller diclofenac in the cattle. Big pharma convinced India that their product would alleviate any pain that their much loved and revered bovine members would suffer, as that was the case for humans. Instead they introduced the most sinister of killers – something that not even the vultures could deal with. Imagine that!

Fortunately Indian authorities responded much faster than would be normal in a case of banning a product. India banned veterinary use of diclofenac in 2006. It was still almost too late, as today, still many species are on the brink of extinction.
King vulture (Sarcoramphus papa)

With tens of millions of vultures gone and several years passed without them, it finally became obvious what incredible service the vultures has done and is no longer capable of doing. A surge of diseases in human and animal populations ensued.

In Africa vultures are killed by poisoned baits, poached for “medicinal” and religious purposes and as a trohpy.

Fortunately it is better for vultures in the Americas, and the king vulture is not threatened. Let’s keep it that way.

Read more about the Indian vulture crisis on Wikipedia .

Elevation: 73 meters

Last Updated on 11 May, 2021 by morten

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