Thirteen critically endangered vultures were killed due to poisoning in Moulvibazar, prompting the local Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Department to file a general diary on Thursday at Moulvibazar model police station.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Moulvibazar Forest Department, two members of the same family became angry when their goat was killed by foxes. They put poison on the remains of dead goats to kill foxes, but it was the vultures who died after feeding on them.
WMNCD Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Shyamal Kumar Mitra on Friday said Abu Nayeem Md Nurunnabi, beat officer of Barshijora park, filed a general diary regarding the matter.
Nurunnabi said he heard the names of two people responsible for the poisoning from locals and he filed a general diary accusing Md Rokon and Kachnu Mia.
The Forest Department recovered poison bottles from the area where the dead vultures had been found. The bottles have been submitted to the police station as evidence.
They also found bodies of dogs and foxes along with the dead vultures on Wednesday.
Simanto Dipu, chief researcher of the vulture conservation project of the IUCN, said the carcasses of the vultures were sent to the microbiology and immunology department of Sylhet Agricultural University.
“The autopsy will be completed within one or two days,” he said.
Moulvibazar model police station Officer-in-Charge Harunur Rashid Chowdhury said a report will be submitted to the court after investigation.
Regarding the matter, WMNCD Divisional Forest Officer Rezaul Karim Chowdhury said they are deeply saddened by the deaths of 13 vultures.
“The public should be made more aware to protect vultures,” he added.
The matter came to light when officials of the IUCN and the local Forest Department started looking for a vulture’s location. An IUCN satellite tag had been attached to the body of that vulture for movement monitoring under the Bangladesh Vulture Conservation Action Plan project. The vulture was seen moving to different locations. However, the signal stopped a few days ago.
According to a survey by the Forest Department and IUCN, there were 260 vultures in the country.
Among them, 80 were in Sylhet, Moulvibazar and Habiganj. After the death of these 13 vultures, this number further decreased.
The Forest Department has already buried the remains of dead foxes, dogs and goats so that no other vultures may die from feeding on them.
Public awareness campaigns are also being conducted locally to prevent such cases of poisoning.