Issue Date: Dec 31, 2007
The anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac has been incriminated as the main cause for decline in vulture numbers in South Asia. The birds, it is said, perish after feeding on carcasses that have residues of the drug. The argument seems logical but is not based on scientific evidence. The diclofenac-toxicity argument, in fact, obscures a deeper malaise in vulture conservation: a shortage of skilled hands and a lack of seriousness.