Dr Toby Galligan

Senior Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

Background

I manage research and monitoring for the South Asian Vulture Crisis Programme. In recent decades, the once abundant vultures populations in South Asia crashed. The cause of these declines was the common and widespread use of a veterinary drug called diclofenac. Veterinary diclofenac is now banned throughout South Asia and effective alternative drug, meloxicam, is widely available and not toxic to vultures. However, vulture populations remain dangerously small and the above veterinary drugs are not the only ones vultures are exposed to.

I work with BirdLife partners in India and Nepal and SAVE (Saving Asia's Vultures from Extinction) partners worldwide to monitor vulture populations and veterinary drug use; determine toxicity of drugs to vultures and intolerance in other species to these drugs; and study the behavior and fate of wild and captive-released vultures.

I am also involved in the research of many other species worldwide through the RSPB/Birdfair Research Fund for Endangered Birds, which funds and guides approximately eight small projects per year.

External Activities

  • 2015 to present: Chairman, RSPB/Birdfair Research Fund for Endangered Birds
  • 2014 to present: Member, SAVE (Saving Asia's Vultures from Extinction) Technical Advisory Committee
  • 2014 to present: Conservation Officer, Oriental Bird Club Conservation Fund Awards

Partners and Collaboration

  • Dr Vibhu Prakash, Bombay Natural History Society, India
  • Mr Krishna Bhusal, Bird Conservation Nepal, Nepal
  • Dr Mark Taggart, Environmental Research Institute, University of the Highlands and Islands, UK
  • Prof Vinny Naidoo, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Contact

Toby Galligan

Dr Toby Galligan

Senior Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

RSPB Centre of Conservation Science, David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB2 3QZ

toby.galligan@rspb.org.uk

Research Gate

Specialisms

Ecosystem services Identifying problems International species

Selected Publications

Metabolism of aceclofenac in cattle to vulture-killing diclofenac

The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac is highly toxic to Gyps vultures, and its recent widespread use in South Asia caused catastrophic declines in at least 3 scavenging raptors. The manufacture of veterinary formulations of diclofenac has since been banned across the region with mixed...

Date
03 May 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Toby Galligan
Authors
Galligan, T.H., Taggart, M.A., Cuthbert, R.J., Svobodova, D., Chipangura, J., Alderson, D., Prakash, V.M. & Naidoo, V.
Published in
Conservation Biology 30: 1122-1127
View publication Details
International Vultures International species

Continuing mortality of vultures in India associated with illegal veterinary use of diclofenac and a potential threat from nimesulide

The collapse of South Asia's Gyps vulture populations is attributable to the veterinary use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac. Vultures died after feeding on carcasses of recently-medicated animals. The governments of India, Nepal and Pakistan banned ...

Date
02 May 2015
RSPB Authors
Dr Toby Galligan, Prof Rhys Green
Authors
Cuthbert, R., Taggart, M.A., Saini, M., Sharma, A., Das, A., Kulkarni, M., Deori, P., Ranade, S., Shringarpure, R.N., Galligan, T.H. & Green, R.E.
Published in
Oryx
View publication Details
Vultures International species

Avian blood parasite infection during the non-breeding season: an overlooked issue in declining populations?

Pathogens and parasites can have major impacts on host population dynamics, both through direct mortality and via indirect effects. Both types of effect may be stronger in species whose populations are already under pressure. We investigated ...

Date
06 September 2013
RSPB Authors
Dr Jenny Dunn
Authors
Dunn, J.C., Goodman, S.J., Benton, T.G. & Hamer, K.C.
Published in
BMC Ecology
View publication Details
Yellowhammer England Identifying problems UK species

Diclofenac is toxic to the Steppe Eagle Aquila nipalensis: widening the diversity of raptors threatened by NSAID misuse in South Asia

Three Critically Endangered Gyps vultures endemic to South Asia continue to decline due to the use of diclofenac to treat ...

Date
27 May 2014
RSPB Authors
Dr Toby Galligan, Prof Rhys Green
Authors
Sharma, A.K., Saini, M., Singh, S.D., Prakash, V., Das, A., Dasan, R.B., Pandey, S., Bohara, D., Galligan, T.H., Green, R.E., Knopp, D. & Cuthbert, R.J.
Published in
Bird Conservation International
View publication Details
International Identifying problems International species

Have population declines in Egyptian Vulture and Red-headed Vulture in India slowed since the 2006 ban on veterinary diclofenac?

Populations of three vulture species of the genus Gyps, the Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus and Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus have declined markedly on the Indian subcontinent since the mid-1990s and all are now Critically ...

Date
01 April 2014
RSPB Authors
Dr Toby Galligan, Prof Rhys Green
Authors
Galligan, T.H., Amano, T., Prakash, V.M., Kulkarni, M., Shringapure, R., Prakash, N., Ranade, S., Green, R.E. & Cuthbert, R.J.
Published in
Bird Conservation International
View publication Details
International Egyptian vulture Red-headed vulture International species