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Vulture breeding to start soon at Nandankanan


OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Sep 17

The Nandankanan Zoological Park here will soon begin conservation breeding of endangered species like vultures with the technical guidance of the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to protect them from extinction, top zoo officials said here on Monday.

The officials made the announcement at a four-day workshop on’ Conservation breeding of endangered species in zoological parks’ organised here by the Nandankanan Zoological Park, in association with the CZA and the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

Nandankanan Zoological Park Assistant Director Kamal Lochan Purohit said the zoo already has a pangolin breeding centre, which is doing a very good job. “As a coordinating zoo selected by the CZA for breeding of pangolin and vulture, we are waiting for stocks (mother bird) to start breeding”, he added.

After having a successful record in the captive breeding of white tigers, gharials and Indian pangolin, the zoo will take up the new challenge of breeding vultures, which are on the verge of extinction, said another zoo official.

CZA Member-Secretary BS Bonal said the CZA has already launched breeding of 23 species including Red Panda, Snow Leopard and pangolin and has now identified 26 priority species to include in the conservation breeding programme (CBP) out of the total 73 endangered wild animal species.

The CZA would provide 100 per cent financial assistance to the selected zoos for appointment of a biologist, a veterinarian or veterinary assistant and a keeper. Supervisory aspects would be taken care of by the concerned State Governments, Bonal said, adding, “funds for the CBP would be released on instalment basis: 50 per cent in first phase, 30 per cent in second and the rest in the last phase.”

The targets of the present workshop are to prepare a CBP plan for long-term conservation of 21 identified endangered species as part of the Species Recovery Plan.

The workshop, inaugurated by Forest and Environment department secretary RK Sharma, was attended by more than 36 participants from eight States from East and North-East. Among others, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) of Odisha JD Sharma, WII Professor Dr PC Tyagi and Nandankanan Zoo Director Dr Sudarsan Panda and Deputy Director Manoj V Nair were present.