Distribution: The species was present in large numbers, in Southern and Southeastern Asia until 1990s and declined rapidly in numbers between 1992 and 2007. Scattered population now occurs in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and southern Vietnam.
As an extension to Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra’s vulture conservation work Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund has given grant for vulture conservation efforts in Northern Western Ghats.
The Critical Ecosystem Partnership fund is a joint initiative of I’Agence Fracaise de Developpement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.
Distribution: Found in India and South East Pakistan.
Wing span: 196 to 238 cm
Weight: 5.5 to 6.3Kg
Natural habitat: Found in cities, towns and villages near cultivated area and open woody areas.
Identifying features: Plumage is light to dark brown. Head is small and blackish while neck is long which is patchily covered with whitish-brown down-like feathers. Thighs have white feathers. Juveniles have slightly lighter plumage as compared to adults. Bill is longer and grey in color. Tip of the upper mandible is hooked.
Feeding helps to improve success in natural breeding of Vultures at Anjarla, Ratnagiri
As the vultures appear to be ugly, this species is neglected by human beings. But in fact the vultures play an important role of a clean-up crew in nature and help in keeping the surroundings clean. As such they help in preventing diseases by eating carrions. Hence this species needs to be protected and conserved. Three species of vultures namely the Oriental White-backed (Gyps bengalensis), Long-billed and Slender-billed vultures have colonies in Asian countries. All these species are declared critically endangered. Their number is catastrophically declining in our own country as well as in neighboring countries. It is said that Diclofinac is the main threat to the species. This drug is used as a pain-killer for livestock. The vultures develop kidney failure and visceral gout and die within few days after consuming the carcasses contaminated with Diclofinac. The Government of India has banned this drug but the problem of declining vulture population still remains.