Vultures used to occur in great numbers in the past but their numbers decreased significantly due to an anti-inflammatory veterinary drug called Diclofenac sodium. The medicine was injected into livestock and when vultures fed on the meat of the dead animal, it led to kidney failure in the vultures resulting in immediate death.
By the time humans got any clue about this, it was too late as the species suffered a terrible loss at the hands of humans. Keeping in view the damage to the species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed 12 out of 23 species near threatened or endangered in the Red List of Threatened Species. Unfortunately, the white-backed vulture and long-billed vulture suffered the most brutal attack from Diclofenac as their numbers declined by more than 90 per cent in South Asia since the 1990’s, therefore they are now listed as critically endangered.
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