As the population of vultures across Southasia was declining, in 2006, Nepal took an innovative step to bring vultures back from the brink of extinction. It established seven vulture restaurants across the country to provide the birds with safe food. It later established larger Vulture Safe Zones covering areas critical to vultures, such as nesting and roosting sites.
The initiative worked. By 2011, the vulture population had stabilised. But Nepal didn’t stop there.
In 2008, the government established a captive breeding programme for vultures. Birds were bred in captivity and released into the wild to boost the population. The programme was so successful that by 2021, the breeding centre was closing down.
Nepal’s success in vulture conservation was due in part to its recognition of the role of local communities. By raising awareness of the importance of vultures, Nepal was able to foster community-based conservation efforts that protected vulture populations and their habitats.
Today, in vulture conservation, Nepal has become one of the most successful countries.
Reporter: Tulsi Rauniyar
Camera: Tulsi Rauniyar
Edit: Pratik Singh
Voice-Over: Swaraj Chitrakar
This project supported in part by a grant from the National Geographic