Boise State raptor biologist Marc Bechard and Munir Virani, director of Pan African Raptor Research for the Peregrine Fund, took a group of students to India for spring break. The group got a closer look at India’s critically endangered vultures and other local wildlife. John Kelly, Boise State’s Manager of Photographic Services accompanied the group to chronicle the sights, sounds and experiences.
The veterinary drug diclofenac, used to ease joint pain in aging cows, has decimated endemic Indian vulture populations in recent years. When they die, the cows are taken to graveyard fields where vultures have always eaten them. Diclofenac is fatal to vultures; this has caused as much as a 95 percent decline in several species of Indian vultures.
Boise State photographer John Kelly accompanied the group as they took Jeep safaris to tiger reserves that are home to several vulture species, as well as visited a Bollywood theme park. See a full gallery of photos here.
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Established in 1987, the Raptor Research Center (RRC) supports graduate education for the unique Master of Science in Raptor Biology degree from the Department of Biological Sciences at Boise State University. The center conducts research and provides technical assistance about birds of prey and other wildlife. The RRC also provides support for the Intermountain Bird Observatory and the center cooperates with other organizations, such as The Peregrine Fund, that share mutual interests in the basic biology of raptors and the conservation of natural resources.
The Raptor Research Center provides teaching assistantships and research support to graduate students and to faculty associated with the Raptor Biology graduate degree program. Students can conduct research on a variety of topics and species in the laboratory, as local field projects, or in international settings.
Raptor Research Center scientists conduct grant-based research with a variety of wildlife species and diverse conservation issues.
Visit the “Boise State is for the Birds” webpage!