2014 News Summary

January, Support for New Vulture Safe Zone in Madhya Pradesh –The Bombay Natural History Society, with support from Rio Tinto, are set to establish a new Vulture Safe Zone (VSZ) in Madhya Pradesh which will incorporate the Long-billed vulture (as highlighted in the 2014 SAVE Report). Indian press coverage: BusinessLine and CounterCurrent

February, BBC highlights vultures all roundThis BBC news story highlighting SAVES work was shortly followed by the UKs documentary ‘Beauty in the Beast’. For those outside of the UK the short ‘Earth’s Clean-up Crew’ features interviews with SAVE members Jemima Parry-Jones and Ananya Mukherkee, and environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev. Or find out 7 surprising facts about vultures in general!

February, Blueprint for the Recovery of South Asia’s Critically Endangered Gyps Vultures –Together with expert input from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Nepal and Pakistan Governments and NGO’s, SAVE has compiled a Gyps vulture Conservation Action Plan. The plan identifies key conservation actions up to 2025. Download 2014 Blueprint for CR Asian Gyps Vultures.

March, Plea for ketoprofen to be banned in BangladeshPress coverage of a study by Dr Monirul Khan on the ongoing use of diclofenac and ketoprofen in Bangladesh.

World Bank support begins for major Bangladesh vulture project – IUCN Bangladesh has been awarded a major World Bank funded project: “White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis) Conservation in Bangladesh: Establishment of the toxic drug free Vulture Safe Zones (VSZ) and Monitoring of the Population trend” as a sub-project of their current work from the Bangladesh Forest Department. Principal Investigator Mr A B M Sarowar Alam will lead the two year project focusing on illegal diclofenac use and establishing two further Vulture Safe Zones.

•April, First vultures moved to Bhopal Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre – We have reached a further milestone in Asian Gyp vulture conservation as fifteen vultures were successfully sent from the Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre (VCBC) in Pinjore, to the new VCBC in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. Read more here.

 •April, New study shows vulture-killing drug kills eagles too – Two groundbreaking studies have revealed that veterinary drug diclofenac does not just affect vultures but a range of birds of prey. Find out more: media release, blog, and BirdLife Internationals paper on how diclofenac has become ‘a global problem’. Read the Media release.

New Save Members! – SAVE is delighted to welcome The Bangladesh Forest Department as a Government partner, and the Bangladesh National Vulture Recovery Committee which runs the major new vulture project to our growing members team!

July, National Workshop on new Vulture Conservation Action Plan for Nepal – Bird Conservation Nepal, in collaboration with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) Nepal, held a national workshop on Vulture Conservation in Kathmandu. Mr. Megh Bahadur Pande, Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) chaired the program. Dr. Maheshwar Dhakal, Ecologist at DNPWC, Mr. Khadananda Paudel, Vulture Conservation Officer at BCN, Mr. Chris Bowden, International Species Recovery Officer at RSPB and Dr. Jhamak Karki, Associate Professor at Nepal Engineering College also presented on the conservation of Asian vultures and the Vulture Conservation Action Plan (2014-2018).Dr. Narendra Man Babu Pradhan, Chief Executive Officer at BCN thanked all the participants and Mr. Megh Bahadur Pande, Director General of DNPWC closed the ceremony.

July, Channel i screens ‘Nature and Life’ vulture program (Bangladesh national TV) – The new ‘Nature and Life’ program hosted by Muqeed Majumdar Babu – an active vulture conservationist in Bangladesh is now available thanks to special permissions from Prokriti O Jibon Foundation.

•September, Valued supporters – We are delighted to welcome Boehringer-Ingelheim (BI) as the newest SAVE sponsor. BI has already developed a vulture-safe alternative NSAID, and now their funding will support the release and satellite tracking of birds over the coming year. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank The Rufford Foundation, SOS, and our other donors for their continued financial and technical support.

•October, Tragic death of vulture keeper – It is with great sadness that we report the tragic death of Kasara Vulture Conservation Centre keeper Mr Hari Bote. Hari has worked at the centre since its construction and so, in his honour, we have named the first successfully fledged and released Oriental white-backed vulture ‘Hari’. Our thoughts and condolences are with Hari’s family and friends.

•An important new study by the SAVE partnership on veterinary use of meloxicam – This important new study by SAVE has revealed the issues behind vulture-safe drug Meloxiam and offers an alternative formulation that resolves this issue which has been made freely available thanks to German pharmaceutical company Boehringer-Ingelheim.

 •November, The 4th SAVE meeting – The 4th Annual SAVE meeting in November received full support from the Honorable Finance Minister and Chief, Mr Abdul Maal A Muhith, who gave a historic speech on the importance of drug bans and the creation of Vulture Safe Zones by the Bangladesh Government for vulture conservation. Our thanks go to; special guest Mr Md. Nojibur Rahman (Secretary, Minister of Environment and Forests); session chairs Mr Md. Yunus Ali (Chief Conservator of Forests), The Bangladesh Forest Department, The Ministry of Environment and Forests, and SAVE Chairman Professor Ian Newton; and to IUCN Bangladesh for hosting us.

•Vulture Safe Zones… A full explanation newly available… – This new article published in ‘Mistnet’ explains the work involved and aims of Vulture Safe Zones (VSZ) from VSZ workers themselves. The article provides much more detail on VSZs than has previously been available and we thank The Bombay Natural History Society for making this special issue freely available.

•Latest SAVE Report including updated Blueprint now available – The 4th SAVE meeting included updating our conservation priorities, a full report of the SAVE partners, and updated Blueprint for Recovery of the Asian Gyps Vulture. Access the full report and Vulture Blueprint.

New SAVE Chairman – After four years providing crucial support in the establishment of SAVE, we offer great appreciation to Professor Ian Newton as he hands over his role as Chairman to Professor David Houston. Davids wealth of experience in vulture conservation, specifically in East Africa and the New World, makes him an excellent choice as the new SAVE Chairman and it is with great pleasure that we welcome him to the team.

•BirdLife Cambodia – New SAVE Partner – SAVE welcomes BirdLife Cambodia with Phearun Sum as the main contact as our 14th formal partner! Together with WCS and WWF Cambodia, BirdLife and The Angkor Centre for the Conservation of Biodiversity have made major contributions to vulture conservation work in Cambodia and we look forward to increased involvement with them.

•New National Geographic film highlights SAVE and Asian vulture crisis – Want to know more about the issues affecting vultures and how the Bombay Natural History Society and Vibhu Prakash are working to protect them? Watch the new vultures episode of National Geographics ‘Earth, a New Wild’;

•Vultures continue to die from veterinary drugs – At the last SAVE meeting we found that making the diclofenac ban more effective and introducing safety-testing of new veterinary drugs to be the most urgent factors in Asian vulture conservation. Read more or access the full article with special thanks to Oryx for making this available.

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