Vultures back from the brink

S. Harpal Singh
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A pair of vultures on the Pala Rapu cliff.— Photo: By arrangement
A pair of vultures on the Pala Rapu cliff.— Photo: By arrangement

A team of forest officials headed by Kagaznagar Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) P. Ramesh has brought good news for conservationists.

Vultures in the Murliguda beat deep inside the Bejjur Forest Range have begun breeding, which means the habitat is safe for the critically endangered scavenger birds.

The team was lucky to get a photograph of the birds. The forest officials, who had camped close to the Pala Rapu cliff, reached the habitat of the vultures before sunrise. The team members spotted five birds, all long-billed vultures, soon after sunrise.

Mr. Ramesh said the spot was perfect for birds but there was scope for improvement. According to villagers, the population of vultures close to Pala Rapu had fallen suddenly about three years ago, he said.

Madapa Srikanth, the Gond Upa sarpanch of Kammarguda gram panchayat which is close to the vulture habitat, said the birds faced danger from effluents being released in the Peddavagu by the Sirpur Paper Mills.

M. Ram Mohan, Bejjur Forest Range Officer, says: “Another interesting aspect is that these vultures do not feed on carcasses even if they are available in the vicinity of Pala Rapu. They seem to be visiting another vulture habitat situated in Sironcha in Maharashtra for food.”

Other members of the team are Deputy Forest Range Officer S. Venugopal, Murliguda Forest Beat Officer Laxmi and base camp watcher Bakkaiah.



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