Four cities to establish rescue centres for Vultures: Ministry of Environment and Forest

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After a rapid decline in the number of vultures since the past two decades, the Ministry of Environment and Forest has come up with another Action Plan for Vulture  Conservation (APVC) 2020-25. 
The ministry is planning to set up four vulture rescue centres as a part of the already existing vulture conservation breeding centres (VCBC). The centres will be established in Hyderabad (Telangana), Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Pinjore (Haryana), and Rani (Assam). 
There are three resident species, Oriental White-backed, Long-billed, and Slender-billed vultures whose population in 1980 was estimated to be 40 lakhs, however, with time 99 per cent of the species diminished. According to reports, APVC 2006 had announced positive results with respect to conserving vultures. The union government has now extended the time period to five more years, making it APVC 2020-25. 
As per the APVC document, the four established centre’s will act as shelters for vultures after recovery they may not be able to fly. However, in the rescue centres, the vultures can breed in the conservation breeding facilities and increase the population. The document also states these rescue centres will help saving several dwindling vulture species. Reportedly, most unreleased vultures will mostly be used for educational purposes and drugs testing. 
The action plan proposed for Vulture Conservation also includes establishing of Vulture Conservation Breeding Centres in Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh. Apart from rescue and breeding stations, it is decided to establish at least one ‘Vulture Safe Zone’ in every state in India. 

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