Krishna Prasad Bhusal
Integrated Conservation of Critically Endangered Vultures in Arghakhanchi District, Nepal
Write-rumped vulture nest and egg.
White-rumped vulture Adult & Chick in nest.
White-rumped Vulture and its nest.
|Argha||Nepal||Asia, Birds||29 Nov 2011|
Among nine vulture species of Indian sub-continent (Grimmett et al. 2000), eight species are found in Nepal that include Gyps bengalensis, G. tenuirostris, G. himalayensis, G. fulvus, Gypaetus barbatus, Neophron percnopterus, Sarcogyps calvus and Aegypius monachus. Population of White-rumped vultures have declined by more than 99.9% in India (Prakash et al. 2007) and Pakistan and annual rates of decline of other vultures appear to be increasing. Due to these declines, three species of south Asian vultures (white-rumped, slinder-billed and long-billed) are listed as critically endangered by IUCN 2000. Further to this Red-headed vulture and Egyptian vulture are listed as critically endangered and endangered respectively in 2007. The cause of these declines is veterinary drug diclofenac, which is widely used to treat livestock in Asia.
In Arghakhanchi district we have studied the status of Egyptian Vulture, Himalayan Griffon and Bearded Vulture in Gherabhir (new sites) under Jatayu scholarship of Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN 2009). During the course of our study, new colony of white-rumped vulture was discovered in the territory of study area and also monitors them. This study provides data to compare the status of these vultures with last year data to find out their population trend. Still people are not aware about the cause of vulture population decline and their ecological importance in nature. Therefore we aim to launch awareness program in local communities including different stakeholder like community forest user groups, school children, government officers, local media and veterinary practitioners in order to stop use of diclofenac, conserve vulture habitat and their future. The survey of NSAIDs and advocacy with related organization will give us feedback to declare the area as Diclofenac Free Zone and also access the future threats. To conserving these creatures we feel the need of integrated conservation, monitoring and education program in the site.
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