The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav, awarded Dr Vibhu Prakash of the Bombay Natural History Society the Directors Prani Mitra Award 2021 for his role in vulture conservation. The award is for the ex-situ work in particular, and was made in the presence of Shri Kiritsinh Rana, Hon’ble Minister (Forest and Environment), Government of Gujarat.
The award ceremony took place on October 11 at Sardar Patel Zoological Park, Kevadia, Gujarat and was attended by over 100 Government officials, including Shri Soumitra Dasgupta, IFS, Additional Director General (Wildlife), Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Government of India, Dr. Satya Prakash Yadav, IFS, Additional Director General (PT), Member Secretary (NTCA) & Member Secretary, Central Zoo Authority, Shri Shyamal Tikadar, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest & Chief Wildlife Warden, Gujarat, Mr. Jagdish Chander, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest & Chief Wildlife Warden, Haryana and Dr Sonali Ghosh, IFS, Director, National Zoological Park, New Delhi & Deputy Inspector General of Forest- Central Zoo Authority.
Dr. Satya Prakash Yadav, Member Secretary of Central Zoo Authority said: Dr Vibhu Prakash has been spearheading vulture conservation in India for the past three decades. He has dedicated his entire life to vulture conservation and is systematically working to achieve the main objective of the programme of saving the vultures from extinction.”
Shri Soumitra Dasgupta, IFS, Additional Director General (Wildlife), MoEFCC, Government of India added that “Dr. Prakash is the Vulture man of India.”
Bivash Pandav the BNHS Director said “BNHS is very proud to have such a dedicated world expert as Vibhu Prakash leading its vulture programme from the outset more than twenty years ago.”
This award is a very important recognition for Vibhu, SAVE’s Co-chair of the TAC, and head of the BNHS vulture programme. He dedicated the award to his staff and colleagues and said that we could breed all the three critically endangered Gyps species of vulture for the first time ever jointly with Haryana Forest Department and our BirdLife partner, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the International Centre for Birds of Prey, U.K.
He added “Now we urgently need to ensure the environment is clear of toxic NSAIDs so that the birds when released in the wild, can survive and thrive in nature.”
Compiled by Chris Bowden
Link to the press release can be found here