Join hands with Arulagam, an NGO, to protect the species

Vulture conservation in the State is gaining momentum with more than 200 village panchayats in Coimbatore district passing a resolution on Sunday to protect this endangered species from extinction.

Thanks to the efforts of Arulagam, a Coimbatore-based vulture conservation organisation which conducted awareness programme among villagers for protecting this forest scavengers.

S. Bharathidasan, secretary of the organisation, said that though many non-governmental organisations adopted different methods for conservation of forest and wildlife, his organisation decided to rope in villagers in the conservation of vultures.

Four species of vultures are found in the State – white-backed, long-billed, Egyptian and red-headed vultures. At present a good number of vulture population is found in the Moyar valley region and Eastern slopes of the Nilgiris North Forest division, up to Thengumarahada village, he said.

In the Moyar valley region, the sighting of vulture nests had increased. When a survey was conducted in 2012, the officials and NGOs recorded the presence of 20 nests, which had increased to 50 nests at the end of a year-long survey programme, which concluded in February last year. Semmanatham, Jallikadavu and Siriyur were the three villages in the Nilgiris North Forest division, where the vulture sighting was very good. Arulagam team recorded the sighting of 39 nests in February this year.

Jayasree Nagarajan, president of A. Mettupalayam Panchayat in Coimbatore district, said that unlike other wildlife, the vultures do not kill animals, rather they clear the carcass of dead animals. If the dead animals were not cleared, they would spread disease among people. “So we felt that it is important to conserve this species and passed a resolution to protect them,” she said.

V. Parthan, president of Pachapalayam village panchayat, said that after an awareness programme by Arulagam volunteers in the Gram Sabha, the members realised the need for conserving this species.

The panchayat is even ready to protect a pair of vultures, if they are translocated from some other area and released near their village, as they were friend of farmers and villagers, he said.