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Science  09 Mar 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6380, pp. 1086-1089
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6380.1086

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Summary

Conservationists are trying to save South Asian vultures from extinction by creating areas free of vulture-killing drugs. The push to create these vulture-safe zones comes more than a decade after populations of three species of South Asian vultures plunged thanks to diclofenac, a veterinary painkiller toxic to the birds. White-rumped vultures were once the most common vultures on the Indian subcontinent, numbering more than 10 million. Now, there are just 10,000 left. Numbers have plateaued, thanks to a ban on diclofenac and efforts to make the ban stick inside these vulture zones. But concerns remain about other problem painkillers.

  • This project was supported with a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.