Vultures sighted in Sathyamangalam forest

LONE RANGER: A White-Backed vulture in the Thengumarahada forest area in Sathyamangalam.

LONE RANGER: A White-Backed vulture in the Thengumarahada forest area in Sathyamangalam.  

Special Correspondent

Nephron vulture, believed to be extinct, among three species found

Nearly 200 vultures fed on buffaloes carcasses

Vulture population in forests picking up

CHENNAI: Glad tidings await wildlife enthusiasts. A good number of vultures were sighted in the Thengumarahada forest area of the Sathyamangalam Forest Division a couple of days ago.

S. Chandrasekaran, Member, Bombay Natural History Society, said a postgraduate student of the AVC College, Mayiladuthurai, had gone to Thengumarahada to study about the vultures. A few days ago, when he was in the Masikoil area, the stench of a carcass attracted his attention. When he went closer, he was surprised to see nearly 200 vultures feeding on the carcasses of two feral buffaloes.

The sighted vultures belonged to three different species — White-backed, King and Nephron. It was believed that the Nephron vulture was extinct in the State, said Mr. Chandrasekhar.

Records show that more than 50 years ago, Nephron vultures used to frequent Gingee, Tirukazhukundram, Boodhapandi in Kanyakumari district and coastal areas in Rameswaram, he said.

Abundant food

Robert B Grubh, Director, Institute for Restoration of Natural Resources, who has done research on vultures, said the carrion feeder’s population in the country, particularly in northern India, increased during 1980s.

This was due to abundant availability of food. At that time in and around New Delhi alone nearly 30,000 vultures were there. Slowly their population declined. This, however, had not created any ecological imbalance, he said.

In recent times, all over the country, the population of vultures in forest areas is slowly picking up. The scavenger bird’s population is slowly increasing in the wooded areas, he added.

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