Vulture Conservation

Mass decline of Vulture population caused by diclofenac poisoning is one of the depressing incidents in India in recent times. There is a small population of Vultures (White-rumped, Red-headed and long billed) surviving in Wayanad-Mudumalai-Bandipur landscape, primarily due to availability of non-contaminated food source- the carcass of wild ungulates consumed by carnivores. Wayanad is the only region in Kerala where Vultures are surviving. The surrounding villages holds large number of cattle and there are high chances of vulture getting access to treated carcasses if not monitored regularly. Since 2011, I have been working in this terrain, creating awareness among Veterinary practitioners and cattle owners on the adverse impact of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on Vulture population.A population monitoring programme is also launched with support of anti-poaching watchers in Wayanad Wild life Sanctuary. This project is also in collaboration with

Mr C Sasikumar, who had started monitoring the Vulture population of south India since 2000. Since then we are monitoring the breeding success of White-rumped Vultures in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. In 2013, we got a project grant from Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) to do a baseline study of vultures of the sanctuary and for capacity building of forest staff for regular monitoring. This project lead to the development of a vulture conservation action plan by the forest department for protecting the vultures of Wayanad.

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