In a week-long census of vultures conducted by the forest department during first week of December, it was found that not a single vulture could be spotted in any of the six forest ranges of the district, Anuj Saxena, District Forest Officer said.

Elaborating the cause for the vanishing of the scavenging birds, Dr NPS Tomar, Additional Director, Animal Husbandry said that the Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) 'diclofenac' remained the prime reason for annihilation of vultures from the area.

"The drug is given to milk producing animals in the form of a salt to reduce inflammation and as an analgesic reducing pain in certain conditions," he said.

"The salt dissipates in flesh of such animals and causes the gradual death of vultures who scavenge upon the carcasses of these animals. This salt has been banned by the Union government," he added.
    
According to the statistics available with forest department till 2001, about ten species of vultures could be sighted.
    
The forest officer noted that the extensive use of pesticides has also affected the survival rate of cranes.

During a recent census, only 117 cranes could be sighted against 145 during 2013 census, Saxena said.

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