The Centre is expanding its vulture conservation programme across eight centres to save the endangered species and arrest the steady decline of their population.
The move to emulate successful vulture breeding and rescue centre in Pinjore comes ahead of the ambitious plan to release these birds, bred in captivity, into the wild by 2016-17.
Six hundred pairs of each of the three critically endangered species — white backed, long billed and slender billed — will be released. For this purpose, 25 pairs of the three species will be needed to breed in each of the eight centres.
At a meeting last month, officials from Central Zoo Authority, zoo directors, chief wildlife wardens and forests officers involved in the Vulture Conservation Breeding Programme agreed to send captive-bred vultures to Rani in Assam; Rajabhatkhawa in West Bengal; Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad; Van Vihar National Park & Zoo; Bhopal; Sakkarbaug Zoo, Junagarh; Muta Zoo, Ranchi; and Nandankanan Zoo, Bhubaneswar.
In fact, vultures, in 19 other zoos in India, will also be soon shifted out to these centres, officials said.