Vultures are essential for ecosystem health because of their role in removing animal carcasses from the environment.  But many threats are propelling the global vulture population decline.  Are veterinary drugs one of the culprits?

In the late 1990’s their populations declined dramatically (99%) in the Indian Subcontinent due to intoxication with diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) used in cattle. Diclofenac was banned in many of the Asian countries involved, but it is now approved for veterinary use in large animals in the European Union. Considering that the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) has over 95% of Europe’s vulture population, what is the risk of diclofenac (and other veterinary drugs) to vultures in the Iberian Peninsula?

Irene Bueno Padilla of the University of Minnesota answered the question, “Are Vultures in the Iberian Peninsula at Risk to Veterinary Pharmaceuticals?”

Here is the program recording link: Passcode: QX$Ej2W%

Also, a head’s up:  Join us for MRVAC’s second field trip of the year: Miesville Ravine on Sunday, June 6th at 7:30 a.m. It’s free and open to all.  See the events section.