A ‘Vulture Restaurant’ In Jharkhand

A ‘Vulture Restaurant’ In Jharkhand

GS Paper - 3

Why in the news?

  • A vulture restaurant has recently been inaugurated in the Koderma district of Jharkhand.
  • It aims to actively participate in the conservation efforts to safeguard the dwindling vulture population.

About Vulture 

  • Vultures are medium to large scavenging birds 
  • It is found predominantly in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
  • They have heavy, dull brown or black bodies with hunched-over stances and shaggier feathers.
  • Bald heads and throats serve a thermoregulatory function.
  • Broad wings enable them to soar in search of prey.
  • There are 23 extant species of vulture. 

Food Preferences and Ecological Role:

  • Vultures primarily consume carrion, garbage, and occasionally excrement, rarely preying on live animals.
  • Their scavenging behavior helps control the spread of diseases, including fatal ones among humans.

Conservation Status:

  • Critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List.
  • Listed on Appendix II of CITES.
  • Schedule I protection under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, for Bearded, Long-billed, Slender-billed, and Oriental white-backed vultures.
  • Himalayan, Red-headed, Egyptian, Cinereous, and Eurasian Griffon are under Schedule IV.

Threats Faced:

  • Poisoning, particularly from toxic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like diclofenac, leading to kidney failure.
  • Electrocution and collisions with high-tension power lines and vehicles.
  • Persecution by communities due to their scavenging nature, resulting in deliberate poisoning or hunting.
  • Forest fires destroying traditional nesting sites and reducing vulture populations.
  • Starvation due to the scarcity of preferred food sources.

Vultures in Jharkhand

  • Vulture sightings in Koderma district have surged since 2019 after a two-decade absence.
  • A 2023 survey recorded 145 vultures, marking a significant rise from the 38 observed in 2022.
  • The Jharkhand coordinator for the Indian Bird Conservation Network reported a recent population increase of around 450-500 vultures in the state, encompassing six different species.
  • Egyptian vultures have been spotted in the Hazaribag Wildlife Sanctuary in Jharkhand.

Recent Conservation Initiative

  • A recent establishment known as the "Vulture Restaurant" is located in Gumo under Telaiya Nagar Parishad in Koderma district.
  • The primary aim of the restaurant is to generate awareness about the dwindling vulture population and the various threats faced by this species.
  • The site is designated as a feeding ground specifically for vultures.
  • However, the restaurant is currently awaiting the finalization of protocols for diclofenac-free carcasses from goshalas and municipalities.

Government steps for vulture conservation

  • Ban on Harmful Drugs:
      • In July 2023, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare prohibited the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of ketoprofen and aceclofenac, along with their formulations for animal use.
      • This action was taken under section 26A of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, as these drugs posed a threat to vultures.
  • Impact of Aceclofenac and Ketoprofen:
      • Aceclofenac, when used in animals, rapidly transforms into diclofenac and lingers in the body for extended periods.
      • Ketoprofen, an anti-inflammatory NSAID, proved poisonous to the Himalayan vulture.
  • Vulture Action Plan 2020-25:
      • Launched by the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, the plan focuses on minimizing diclofenac usage and preventing the poisoning of cattle carcasses with veterinary NSAIDs.
      • Safety testing of NSAIDs on vultures, development of vulture-friendly alternatives, and automatic removal of toxic drugs from veterinary use are key objectives.
      • Implementation of the Vulture Safe Zone program, regular vulture population censuses, and the creation of a comprehensive threat database are integral to the plan.
      • Establishment of additional Conservation Breeding Centers and Vulture Conservation Centers.
  • Jharkhand Forest Department Initiatives:
    • The Jharkhand Forest Department is committed to establishing a vulture interpretation and rescue center.
    • Geo-tagging of vultures will be implemented to monitor and track their movements.
    • A 100-km radius around Hazaribag has been designated as a vulture safe zone.

These measures collectively aim to safeguard vulture populations, curb the use of harmful drugs, and promote conservation efforts across India.


The creation of a "Vulture Restaurant" in Koderma stands as a commendable initiative aimed at increasing awareness regarding the challenges confronting the vulture population.


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