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Student Notes: Muhammad Arshad
Muhammad Arshad — in Asian Vulture Crisis    Share
"Everybody knows that the populations of white-backed vultures are decreasing at an alarming rate, but nobody knows why they are dying. In India researchers pointed out that vultures are in danger. Because of this situation, The Peregrine Fund began the Asian Vulture Crisis Project to know what the cause of the vulture mortality is. In Pakistan; Dholewala, Toawala and Changa Manga were selected to study the vultures.

I’m very lucky because I have to conduct my research in Changa Manga. Changa Manga is a very important site in Pakistan, because it is located very close to India. It is easy for birds to fly to and from India. If there is a disease through which vultures are decreasing in India, it may be transferred to the Changa Manga birds before it reaches other sites in Pakistan.

Changa Manga is a big plantation. It is a good habitat for vultures and other birds. You can observe nature in its true form here. If someone wants to know how humans interfere with nature, he must visit Changa Manga. Local people steal the wood from the plantation, destroy the bird habitat and because of this, there has been a decline in bird populations. I started working in January 2001, at that time the vulture population was more than 1200. Now it is not more than 400 and the breeding rate is also lower than our other study sites."

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