Seven ways in which our destruction of the natural world has led to deadly outcomes
In the early 1990s, vultures across India started dying inexplicably. Long-billed, slender-billed and oriental white-backed vultures declined to the brink of extinction, with the number of India’s most common three vulture species falling by more than 97% between 1992 and 2007. Six other species were in sharp decline too. Scientists started testing the dead birds and worked out they had been exposed to diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug routinely given to cattle in south Asia at the time. The vultures fed on the carcasses of cows and were poisoned.