A money-making venture for cattle farmers is saving vultures from extinction in TN

Vulture conservation, cattle
To save vultures, cattle owners are encouraged not to use Diclofenac or its variants, and sell ghee made from such milk to Arulagam, an NGO | All Photos by N Vinoth Kumar

“Did you know that Chennai's Chromepet once had more Egyptian Vultures than crows?” asks Subbaiah Bharathidasan, a conservationist.

“Those were the days when that part of the city processed leather using vegetable tanning. When the leather industry in the region started using chrome tanning, the place got its name as 'Chromepet'. That sounded the death knell for the vultures in the city," he says.

Not just Chromepet, which is on the outskirts of Chennai, in Egmore too, he says, a birder had sighted the nesting of Egyptian Vulture at the building of St. Andrew's Church. “The birder recorded the nesting of the bird at the same place for the next 20 years,” he says.

The older scientific name of the Egyptian Vulture was Neophron ginginianus, suggesting that the bird was largely sighted in Gingee near Tiruvannamalai.

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