Aiming to conserve near-extinct vultures and help increase their numbers, the Uttar Pradesh government will set up state’s first Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre at Bhari-Vaisi village in Pharenda tehsil of Maharajganj.
To be developed on five hectares under Gorakhpur Forest division, the centre will be developed on the line of India’s first such centre at Pinjore in Haryana.
A senior government official told The Pioneer on Friday that the centre at Maharajganj would be set up jointly by Wildlife Research Organization and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
“The BNHS has prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR), which has been sent to seek funds under the CAMPA scheme. About 60 percent of the survey work has already been completed,” he added.
The official said it would be the first scientific centre of vultures in UP to find out which species is the most threatened and the locations where these natural scavengers were thriving. “A survey carried out in 2014 across 13 districts of the state put the population of vultures at 900,” he said.
“The government has decided to set up the centre at Bhari-Vaisi village of Maharajganj as over 100 vultures were seen in Madhwaliya range of Maharajganj Forest division in August last year. Another flock of these birds had also been seen near a bovine protection centre set up by state government. Abandoned bovines were kept in this bovine centre. Because of being very old and week, these cattle die very soon, and their corpses naturally attract vultures,” he said.
The Indian Vulture (Gyps Indicus) found in India, Pakistan and Nepal has been listed as a critically endangered on International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List since 2002, as the population severely dwindled. To protect the scavenger, the UP government had earlier proposed setting up of a Vulture restaurant in 2016 which failed to get the nod from the then Akhilesh Yadav regime.