The vulture is a useful scavenger and plays a key role in the environment as ecosystem service provider. It feeds on carrion and keeps the natural environment clean and controls spreading viral diseases from decaying carrions
Amidst spiking pollution levels and reeling under dengue cases, the city has something to cheer about. The Egyptian vulture – which had disappeared from the city – seemed to have made a come back. Also, this time around, ecologists have noted that “two pairs seem to have made permanent residence since April in the Bhatti Mines Forest area.”
According to conservationist T.K. Roy, these birds were previously spotted sporadically in Okhla and Yamuna islands. “This time, we have seen them for a longer period of time and feel that they are residing in the Bhatti Mines Forest area (where they were spotted). Usually, these birds are known to cross over from Uttar Pradesh.”
Ecologists state that during this year, from April to date, the birds were spotted in the forest area. Few species of vulture used to be common in NCR, but have disappeared now except few vagrant sightings of Egyptian Vulture reported in Delhi in the past few years mainly on the Yamuna islands, Okhla Bird Sanctuary and Gazipur Landfill area.
Bhatti Mines Forest area falls under the Forest and Wildlife Dept of NCT of Delhi and is exclusively being developed and protected by Eco-Task Force of Territorial Army in collaboration with Delhi Govt.
“We have spotted two pairs of resident Egyptian Vulture here. It’s good indication that Egyptian Vulture is come back to Delhi,” added Mr. Roy.
The vulture is a useful scavenger and plays a key role in the environment as ecosystem service provider as it feeds on carrion and keeps the natural environment clean and controls spreading viral diseases from decaying carrions.
Overall vulture population has rapidly declined during the last three decades since mid-nineties and rapid population decline recorded in India between 2000 and 2007.
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), one among nine vulture species available in Indian sub-continent is a large range distributed species in Europe, Africa and Asia but its population has been rapidly declined in India due to facing several major threats as disturbance, poisoning, electrocution, scarcity of food, habitat loss but largely due to toxic effect of veterinary drug i.e. Diclofenac through livestock carcasses.
Continuous awareness and effort by BNHS for vulture conservation, Drug Controller General (India), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Dept of Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt of India has banned Diclofenac on veterinary use in the year 2006 and further Gazette Notification of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt of India banned the sale of Diclofenac in multi-dose vials in 2015.
Due to growing vulture awareness people became much aware for vulture conservation and as a result vulture population gradually increases in the country.
As per Birdlife International’s preliminary estimation of global population size of this species 21,000 to 61,000 individuals and roughly 13,000 to 41,000 mature individuals at present.
Due to extremely rapid population decline in India this species has been enlisted as Endangered (EN) vulture species in the IUCN Red-list of Threatened Species in 2012
Source: New feed