Meera Subramian writes at Gristmill about Munir Virani, who oversees the South Asian Vulture Crisis project at the Peregrine Fund:

“He and many others in his field have become the equivalent of hospice workers. They come to know and care for their ward, but they are working in defense mode, backs pressed up against a wall of looming threats to all forms of life on earth — terrestrial and aquatic; mammalian, avian, and amphibian.”

I had no idea there was a south Asian vulture crisis, and it’s all but over. “By all reckoning, it’s too late for the vultures. By the time scientists isolated a livestock drug as the cause of the deaths, 95 percent of the population had crashed in less than a decade, and there weren’t enough left in the wild to begin a captive breeding program. … Munir Virani and other conservation biologists are gathering information from the dwindling wild world so that someday, in some imaginable future when one single species isn’t dominating and altering the entire planet, we will have the scientific information to guide us.”

Meanwhile they are “monitoring to extinction.” Read the whole thing.