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Author

Munir Z. Virani

Other affiliations: University of Leicester
Bio: Munir Z. Virani is an academic researcher from The Peregrine Fund. The author has contributed to research in topics: Vulture & Population. The author has an hindex of 23, co-authored 58 publications receiving 3371 citations. Previous affiliations of Munir Z. Virani include University of Leicester.
Topics: Vulture, Population, Gyps, Gyps bengalensis, Geography


Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
12 Feb 2004-Nature
TL;DR: Results are provided that directly correlate residues of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac with renal failure and renal failure in the Oriental white-backed vulture (OWBV) and it is proposed that residues of veterinary diclotenac are responsible for the OWBV decline.
Abstract: The Oriental white-backed vulture (OWBV; Gyps bengalensis) was once one of the most common raptors in the Indian subcontinent A population decline of >95%, starting in the 1990s, was first noted at Keoladeo National Park, India Since then, catastrophic declines, also involving Gyps indicus and Gyps tenuirostris, have continued to be reported across the subcontinent Consequently these vultures are now listed as critically endangered by BirdLife International In 2000, the Peregrine Fund initiated its Asian Vulture Crisis Project with the Ornithological Society of Pakistan, establishing study sites at 16 OWBV colonies in the Kasur, Khanewal and Muzaffargarh-Layyah Districts of Pakistan to measure mortality at over 2,400 active nest sites Between 2000 and 2003, high annual adult and subadult mortality (5-86%) and resulting population declines (34-95%) (ref 5 and MG, manuscript in preparation) were associated with renal failure and visceral gout Here, we provide results that directly correlate residues of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac with renal failure Diclofenac residues and renal disease were reproduced experimentally in OWBVs by direct oral exposure and through feeding vultures diclofenac-treated livestock We propose that residues of veterinary diclofenac are responsible for the OWBV decline

1,568 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: While the Asian vulture crisis has been largely linked to poisoning by diclofenac, vulture population declines in Africa have numerous causes, which have made conserving existing populations more difficult and in Africa there has been little government support to conserve vultures despite mounting evidence of the major threats.
Abstract: Vultures are nature’s most successful scavengers, and they provide an array of ecological, economic, and cultural services. As the only known obligate scavengers, vultures are uniquely adapted to a scavenging lifestyle. Vultures’ uniqueadaptationsincludesoaringflight,keeneyesight,andextremelylowpHlevelsintheirstomachs.Presently,14 of23(61%)vulturespeciesworldwidearethreatenedwithextinction,andthemostrapiddeclineshaveoccurredinthe vulture-rich regions of Asia and Africa. The reasons for the population declines are varied, but poisoning or human persecution, or both, feature in the list of nearly every declining species. Deliberate poisoning of carnivores is likely the most widespread cause of vulture poisoning. In Asia, Gyps vultures have declined by >95% due to poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac, which was banned by regional governments in 2006. Human persecution of vultures hasoccurredforcenturies,andshootinganddeliberatepoisoningarethemostwidelypracticedactivities.Ecological consequences of vulture declines include changes in community composition of scavengers at carcasses and an increased potential for disease transmission between mammalian scavengers at carcasses. There have been cultural and economic costs of vulture declines as well, particularly in Asia. In the wake of catastrophic vulture declines in Asia, regional governments, the international scientific and donor communities, and the media have given the crisis substantial attention. Even though the Asian vulture crisis focused attention on the plight of vultures worldwide, the situation for African vultures has received relatively little attention especially given the similar levels of population decline. While the Asian crisis has been largely linked to poisoning by diclofenac, vulture population declines in Africa have numerous causes, which have made conserving existing populations more difficult. And in Africa there has been little government support to conserve vultures despite mounting evidence of the major threats. In other regions with successful vulture conservation programs, a common theme is a huge investment of financial resources and highly skilled personnel, as well as political will and community support.

352 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The first estimates of a 30-year Pan African vulture decline were presented in this article, confirming that declines have occurred on a scale broadly comparable with those seen in Asia, where the ecological, economic, and human costs are already documented.
Abstract: Vultures provide critical ecosystem services, yet populations of many species have collapsed worldwide. We present the first estimates of a 30-year PanAfrican vulture decline, confirming that declines have occurred on a scale broadly comparable with those seen in Asia, where the ecological, economic, and human costs are already documented. Populations of eight species we assessed had declined by an average of 62%; seven had declined at a rate of 80% or more over three generations. Of these, at least six appear to qualify for uplisting to Critically Endangered. Africa’s vultures are facing a range of specific threats, the most significant of which are poisoning and trade in traditional medicines, which together accounted for 90% of reported deaths. We recommend that national governments urgently enact and enforce legislation to strictly regulate the sale and use of pesticides and poisons, to eliminate the illegal trade in vulture body parts, as food or medicine, and to minimize mortality caused by power lines and wind turbines.

290 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A review of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List to examine the conservation status, distributions, threats, and conservation recommendations for all 557 raptor species is presented in this article.

180 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors compared trends between the ungulate migration and non-migration season among three land use types (reserve, buffer, and grazed) and among the species surveyed to establish the causes of declines in scavenging raptors.

158 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols used xiii 1.
Abstract: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols Used xiii 1. The Importance of Islands 3 2. Area and Number of Speicies 8 3. Further Explanations of the Area-Diversity Pattern 19 4. The Strategy of Colonization 68 5. Invasibility and the Variable Niche 94 6. Stepping Stones and Biotic Exchange 123 7. Evolutionary Changes Following Colonization 145 8. Prospect 181 Glossary 185 References 193 Index 201

14,171 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is shown that only very little is known about long-term effects of pharmaceuticals to aquatic organisms, in particular with respect to biological targets, and targeted ecotoxicological studies are needed focusing on subtle environmental effects.

2,844 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
12 Feb 2004-Nature
TL;DR: Results are provided that directly correlate residues of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac with renal failure and renal failure in the Oriental white-backed vulture (OWBV) and it is proposed that residues of veterinary diclotenac are responsible for the OWBV decline.
Abstract: The Oriental white-backed vulture (OWBV; Gyps bengalensis) was once one of the most common raptors in the Indian subcontinent A population decline of >95%, starting in the 1990s, was first noted at Keoladeo National Park, India Since then, catastrophic declines, also involving Gyps indicus and Gyps tenuirostris, have continued to be reported across the subcontinent Consequently these vultures are now listed as critically endangered by BirdLife International In 2000, the Peregrine Fund initiated its Asian Vulture Crisis Project with the Ornithological Society of Pakistan, establishing study sites at 16 OWBV colonies in the Kasur, Khanewal and Muzaffargarh-Layyah Districts of Pakistan to measure mortality at over 2,400 active nest sites Between 2000 and 2003, high annual adult and subadult mortality (5-86%) and resulting population declines (34-95%) (ref 5 and MG, manuscript in preparation) were associated with renal failure and visceral gout Here, we provide results that directly correlate residues of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac with renal failure Diclofenac residues and renal disease were reproduced experimentally in OWBVs by direct oral exposure and through feeding vultures diclofenac-treated livestock We propose that residues of veterinary diclofenac are responsible for the OWBV decline

1,568 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The ecotoxicological studies of both drugs imply that they do not easily cause acute toxic effects at their environmental concentrations, however their chronic effects need cautious attention.

1,306 citations