A BIRDS of prey conservancy in Andover has announced the hatching of two critically endangered chicks at its breeding centre in Pakistan.

The Hawk Conservancy Trust announced the good news of two further Oriental White-backed Vulture chicks hatching at the conservation's breeding centre at Changa Manga, near Lahore in Pakistan. 

This follows the breeding success of last April, which was the first successful breeding of this species in captivity in Pakistan.

The incubation period for the vultures is quite long at about 52 days.

The latest duo are now more than eight weeks old and continue to grow well under the watchful eye of their parents. 

The charity said they have been making strong progress, with one of the chicks overcoming a blocked nostril, which improved dramatically thanks to excellent care and attention from Abdul Ghaffar, Aviary Supervisor.

Dr Campbell Murn, head of conservation and research at the Hawk Conservancy Trust said: “This is another boost for the project in Pakistan. 

"We are increasingly confident about the future in terms of breeding at the Changa Manga centre, but the project needs improvements in the field in the Vulture Safe Zone. 

"Further work to remove vulture-unsafe veterinary drugs from circulation is essential, as is protection of vulture breeding sites in the wild. 

"Without these improvements, releases that are planned for the future will be delayed."

For more information, visit hawk-conservancy.org