Endangered vulture chick sighted in Bikaner

Posted: 10.06.2015


The Times Of India


  

BIKANER:

Endangered vulture chick sighted in Bikaner

The birth of the chick, reported to have occurred in the desert in Khetolayi village of Kolayat tehsil, has come as a welcome surprise. 

A wild life conservator spotted a rare sight in Bikaner recently, a vulture chick. It belongs to the endangered long-billed vulture species.

The birth of the chick, reported to have occurred in the desert in Khetolayi village of Kolayat tehsil, has come as a welcome surprise. Not only because it belongs to an endangered species but also since its birth in this scorching heat was most unexpected.

Normally different species of vultures from Kazakhstan, Tibet, Himalayan region come to Jorbeer area in winters and stay here for a period of 4-5 months. Jorbeer area has officially been declared as the dumping zone of the local municipal body. This is why the area attracts vultures and similar breeds.

According to environmentalists, the birth of a long-billed vulture (Indian vulture) has been reported after a long time. Prabodh Chand Khatri, wild life conservator, whose field of study is related to various species of vultures, said it is quite surprising that this breed of Indian vulture has chosen this hot weather, with temperature ranging between 42-45 degrees Celsius, for reproduction.

Khatri was told about the vulture chick by locals. He along with forest department officials including R N Kumawat, divisional forest officer, visited the spot. On arriving there, the team saw a tree around which a group of vultures were sitting. "It seemed as if the vultures were guarding something,'' said Khatri.

Thinking that there must be a nest there, they maintained a watch using binoculars. A nest was then spotted at a height of about 25 feet and the officials soon sighted the chick along with its mother.

Khatri told TOI that long-billed vulture species has been included in the Red Book by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Around 90% of their population has vanished. There are nests of vultures in Jorbeer area, located 12 km from Bikaner city but a vulture chick was not sighted there in the recent past.

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