Broken Wings & Vanishing Vultures


The world’s most devastating extinction is happening in India. The Indian sub-continent had the highest density of vultures in the world – 85 million in total. However, over the past few years the vast majority have disappeared. Masters of the skies, vultures, the greatest, most efficient scavengers have disappeared forever. More than 99% of the vultures in the sub-continent are dead with roughly three to four thousand remaining. The loss of such an important scavenger has had devastating effects – Putrefying decomposing carcasses are thought to be the cause of anthrax and rabies outbreaks. The extinction of this species
would have global health consequences.

The use of an ordinary veterinary drug, Diclofenac, is the reason behind the kill-off, having driven the vulture to near complete extinction.

These films were made to highlight the problem and bring it to the attention of the public and politicians, using footage shot by Mike Pandey and his team over the past 30 years.

Positive results:

The films were premiered at the British Council in March 2006 and have since been broadcast in 15 different languages on the national network, along with special screenings for the Prime Minister and other key politicians. There was an immediate reaction from the public and national press. The films also appealed to farmers, and many, previously unaware of the problem, switched to a safer alternative to the drug.

These conservation films have been crucial in banning the killer drug diclofenac from the sub-continent… They moved the government of India into bringing in legislation. On May 11th 2006 the Drug Controller General of India issued a notification to all the state drug controllers to ban, with immediate effect, the production and the sale of the veterinary drug diclofenac. This is a crucial step which will give the remaining 1% of vultures a new lease of life and a fighting chance for survival.

Kiran Choudhry, Minister of State for Forests, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Government of Haryana, Chandigarh stated: “Broken Wings & Vanishing Vultures was a brilliant tool for advocacy and this success proves once again how powerful films can be. It was central to the advocacy efforts as it spoke from the heart and touched all those who saw it.”


Executive Producer/Cameraman/Narrator: Mike Pandey
Director: Ritambra Rana
Address: C-18, Chirag Enclave, New Delhi – 110048, India
Phone: +91 11 26410684/26216508 Fax: +91 11 26216508
Email: or
Earth Matters Foundation:

By Jason Peters

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