Since the early '90s, India’s vulture population has plummeted, reducing the birds’ numbers more than 99 percent by 2008. The reason can be found in their diet, or rather, in the fact that their diet has been poisoned. Although vultures, being among nature's greatest scavengers, can eat and digest almost anything they manage to get their beaks on, they can’t digest diclofenac, a painkiller given to cows. When vultures eat cows who had been given the drug recently, it destroys the vultures’ kidneys, killing them. But after all those years of tanking numbers, the vultures of India saw a glimmer of hope in 2012. For the first time in more than 20 years, the vulture population increased from 2011 to 2012. The jump was tiny, but it was the first increase instead of a decrease since around 1990. Here’s hoping it’s just the beginning.
12 Endangered Species Saved From Extinction in 2012paws for a cause
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