Vultures in Konkan

Vultures in Konkan                             

"Vultures were so common when we were young..." these are the words of senior people in Konkan. Sudden decrease in the population of the species triggered our work. Oriental White-backed Vulture(Gyps bengalensis) and Long billed vultures are seen in Konkan region. Both these species are classified as "critically endangered" by IUCN and its population is declining throughout India. We have been monitoring nesting and generating awareness about the species in this region. Adopt a Vulture Nest.

Indian White Backed Vulture

Indian White Backed Vulture

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Distribution: The species was present in large numbers, in Southern and Southeastern Asia until 1990s and declined rapidly in numbers between 1992 and 2007. Scattered population now occurs in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and southern Vietnam.

Read more: Indian White Backed Vulture

Conservation Efforts

As an extension to Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra’s vulture conservation work Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund has given grant for vulture conservation efforts in Northern Western Ghats.

ATREEThe Critical Ecosystem Partnership fund

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership fund is a joint initiative of I’Agence Fracaise de Developpement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.

Read more: Conservation Efforts

Long Billed Vulture

Distribution: Found in India and South East Pakistan.

Size: 92cm

Wing span: 196 to 238 cm

Weight: 5.5 to 6.3Kg

Natural habitat: Found in cities, towns and villages near cultivated area and open woody areas.

Identifying features: Plumage is light to dark brown. Head is small and blackish while neck is long which is patchily covered with whitish-brown down-like feathers. Thighs have white feathers. Juveniles have slightly lighter plumage as compared to adults. Bill is longer and grey in color. Tip of the upper mandible is hooked.

Read more: Long Billed Vulture

Vulture Report 2007-08

Feeding helps to improve success in natural breeding of Vultures at Anjarla, Ratnagiri

As the vultures appear to be ugly, this species is neglected by human beings. But in fact the vultures play an important role of a clean-up crew in nature and help in keeping the surroundings clean. As such they help in preventing diseases by eating carrions. Hence this species needs to be protected and conserved. Three species of vultures namely the Oriental White-backed (Gyps bengalensis), Long-billed and Slender-billed vultures have colonies in Asian countries. All these species are declared critically endangered. Their number is catastrophically declining in our own country as well as in neighboring countries. It is said that Diclofinac is the main threat to the species. This drug is used as a pain-killer for livestock. The vultures develop kidney failure and visceral gout and die within few days after consuming the carcasses contaminated with Diclofinac. The Government of India has banned this drug but the problem of declining vulture population still remains.

Read more: Vulture Report 2007-08

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