Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cambodia remains last vulture bastion in Southeast Asia

26.06.2012
Wildlife Conservation Society and the Royal Government of Cambodia say that more vulture 'restaurants' and reduction of poison in hunting is critical to saving vultures in Asia

In face of what has become a precipitous slide toward extinction across the Asian continent, the vultures of Cambodia have persisted, giving conservationists hope that these important scavengers can come back from the brink, according to authors from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Royal Government of Cambodia, and other groups in a new study.


While vultures across Asia have become nearly extinct in the past few decades, the vultures of Cambodia have persisted. Conservationists say that the creation of new vulture “restaurants” and the restoration of depleted wildlife species in Southeast Asia are the next important steps needed to ensure a future for these ecologically valuable scavengers. Credit: A. Michaud

The creation of new feeding stations, or vulture "restaurants," and the restoration of populations of depleted wildlife species represent the next important steps in vulture conservation, the study says.

The paper appears in the online edition of Bird Conservation International. Authors include: Tom Clements, Martin Gilbert, and Hugo J. Rainey of the Wildlife Conservation Society; Richard Cuthbert of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds; Jonathan C. Eames of BirdLife International in Indochina; Pech Bunnat and Song Chansocheat of the Ministry of the Environment, Royal Government of Cambodia; Seng Teak of the World Wide Fund for Nature—Cambodia Program; and Tan Setha of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Royal Government of Cambodia.

"Results from vulture censuses from the past several years have been encouraging, with new nests recorded and even population increases," said WCS researcher Tom Clements, lead author on the new paper. "With continued investment, these critical populations can survive and grow."

In the study, which began in 2004, the authors collected data from several sites in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam through a variety of methods, including monitoring of vulture nesting sites and feeding stations; health assessments of vultures; interviews with government officials, hunters, and wildlife traders to collect data on threats; and satellite transmitter vests on four birds to assess ranging patterns.

The findings: while Cambodia's vulture populations remain robust, the use of poison by hunters and fishers for capturing other species are leading to unintended vulture mortalities. According to the data, 74 percent of the 42 recorded mortalities during the study period were attributable to poison. Direct persecution (the shooting of vultures with guns and slingshots) was also significant, accounting for 10 percent of recorded vulture mortality.

The extreme importance of Cambodia's vulture population was created by an ecological disaster across Asia due largely to the veterinary drug diclofenac. Widely used as an anti-inflammatory drug for cattle in South Asia, diclofenac is toxic to vultures, causing death through renal failure and visceral gout to birds that feed on the cattle carcasses. It has led to a global population declines higher than 99 percent in some vulture species.

So far, the drug has not impacted the vulture populations of Cambodia because diclofenac is not used. WCS and other partners have actually recorded increases in some species of vulture in these areas. However, vultures in Cambodia are largely dependent on domestic animals for food, as populations of wild species such as gaur and Eld's deer remain low.

"Fortunately, the Royal Government of Cambodia has instituted measures to ban diclofenac to ensure the survival of these important birds," said Joe Walston, Director of WCS's Asia Program. "The challenge now is to reduce the indirect and direct persecution of vultures, specifically from poisoning and shooting, and longer-term pressures from habitat loss."

The slender-billed vulture, white-rumped vulture, and red-headed vulture are all listed as "Critically Endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The Cambodia Vulture Conservation Project is a collaboration between the General Department of Administration for Nature Conservation and Protection (GDANCP) of the Ministry of Environment (MoE), the Forestry Administration (FA) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), BirdLife International in Indochina, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB) and Wildlife Alliance. This work has been made possible through the generous support of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, the Global Environment Facility – United Nations Development Program, the Darwin Initiative and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank.

John Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Despite government claims, orangutan populations have not increased. Call for better monitoring
06.11.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Increasing frequency of ocean storms could alter kelp forest ecosystems
30.10.2018 | University of Virginia

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

Im Focus: Nanorobots propel through the eye

Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.

Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins

12.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices

12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

A two-atom quantum duet

12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>