[Ananya Mukherjee tells us about IVAD...]

It’s that time of the year again when vultures are celebrated for being Nature’s efficient cleaners widely across the globe on International Vulture Awareness Day on the 7th of Sept.

Partners in Nepal and India are celebrating with various events and activities. Bird Conservation Nepal marks the day with rallies, street drama, quizes, and interaction with veterinary practitioners and key stakeholders. The awareness campaigns will be conducted in collaboration with 17 local NGOs/CBOs all over Nepal.

Our Indian partner Bombay Natural History Society marks the day with the Vanishing Vulture Exhibition at BNHS Hornbill House hall with interactive talks and a film screening on the decline of vultures in India on the 6th of September.

Various other volunteers and organisations across the globe are marking the day with awareness campaigns, exhibitions to spread awareness on vultures and activities, such as an anti-diclofenac campaign with veterinarians and chemists in Konkan region in Maharashtra, India, and puppet show program for family members of Animal Husbandry and Forest Department staff at Udagamandalam, Tamil Nadu, as well as street theatres.

A sixth provisional Vulture Safe Zone (VSZ) has been added in Assam, complementing those in Gujarat, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, and the two in Uttar Pradesh. Each provisional zone is unique with its socio-cultural diversity and team dimension. This means that each works in its own unique way.

With the recent success in halting the decline in the South Asia’s Gyps vulture populations (Prakash et al, 2012 and Jamshed et al, 2012) it is hoped that the vultures are coming back from the brink of extinction.

To boost enthusiasm and celebrate International Vulture Awareness day, active awareness raising is needed to save the vultures.  This year, we at the RSPB celebrate the day in Sandy on the 12th of Sept at the Maharajah with a “Vulture Curry Night” which will be a fun-filled fundraising event.  Please join us on 12 September 2013 at 7pm at the Maharajah Indian Restaurant in Sandy to enjoy a delicious dinner and support the Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction (SAVE) project.

For more information and to buy tickets (£15 which includes the dinner and £5 donation towards the project) please contact Monika Molnar (monika.molnar@rspb.org.uk).

Oriental white-backed vulture (Goran Ekstrom)