Jharkhand Mirror
Guest Writer

Egyptian Vulture – Waiting for New Dawn

Jharkhand MirrorWe wake up in the morning with a sound… sound of birds. Beautiful birds singing songs and flying high in the open sky. But world don’t have only singing bird. Some scavenger birds are also there. And they are also a part of the world. Just look at them, they are beautiful too.

Among these Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) is one of them. Egyptian vulture also called pharaoh’s Chicken as this bird considered as a sacred bird in ancient Egypt and considered as a symbol of royalty.

This bird is really beautiful. Yellow face, Pink Leg and bill are slender and long, and the tip of the upper mandible is hooked. But this bird moved into Endangered category in year 2007 (IUCN Red list).

Let’s talk about only India here. In India there existed nine types of vultures. Some species I can name are, White Ramped Vultures, Red Headed, Long Bill, king vulture, King Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Gyps Vulture etc.

In 1967–70, the area around Delhi was estimated to have 12,000-15,000 of these vultures, with an average density of about 5 pairs per 10 km sq. But from recent year very rapid decline was noted all over the globe and so as in Delhi. The exact cause of the decline is not known, but has been linked with the use of the NSAID Diclofenac, which has been known to cause death in Gyps vultures. It was discovered the vultures were being poisoned by residues of an anti-inflammatory drug (diclofenac) used in cattle and other livestock, whose carcasses they feed on.

Recently a census completed in Nilgiris district 121 vultures. There were 73 White Ramped Vultures in the area, followed by 46 Long Bind and two rare Red Headed. However, Egyptian vulture was not found. In south India only four type of vulture are found among 9 types of vultures species found in India. But as the data says, it seems Egyptian vulture extinct from south India and now only 3 type vultures remain there.

Vulture census also started in Junagadh (Gujarat). According to the 2005 census, 2135 vultures were recorded

Also the number of the endangered vultures and their nests has considerably increased in the last two years in Girnar hills of Junagadh, a city-based NGO informed.

Hope all these beautiful bird will increase and so as Egyptian vulture.

Author: Rahul Jain (Delhi)
Email : rahuljain37@yahoo.com

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