Long-billed vultures are found only in the north-eastern slopes of the Nilgiris

Wildlife officials and volunteers of Arulagam, a Coimbatore-based NGO involved in vulture conservation, sighted five long-billed vultures in the north-eastern slopes of the Nilgiris a few days ago.

Sharing the experience, S. Bharathidasan of Arulagam said his team received specific information about the presence of long-billed vultures in the area. It took more than two hours for the team to reach a cliff from where, using a binocular, it recorded the presence of the vultures on another cliff. Long-billed vultures are found only in the north-eastern slopes of the Nilgiris. White-backed, King and Egyptian vultures are the other three species found in the Nilgiris and the Moyar valley, its adjoining area, Mr. Bharathidasan said.

Huge cattle population is found in the Nilgiris and its surrounding areas. This could be one of the reasons the vultures thrive here. Diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug used for both animals and humans, poses a major threat to the survival of vultures. Diclofenac-based drugs should be banned in the region, Mr. Bharathidasan said.