Frail white-rumped vulture tagged in Nepal rescued in IndiaThe 12 year-old bird had been released from the vulture breeding centre in Nawalparasi (East) in November 2019.
A frail white-rumped vulture that was satellite-tagged in Nepal has been rescued in Kushinagar district of Uttar Pradesh in India.
The bird was rescued from a paddy field at Rampurpatti village of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday. Asiavillenews reported that a farmer spotted the vulture, which could not fly, on Sunday and immediately informed a local forest office. The vulture is now kept at the regional forest office in Sargatia Karanpatti, India.
“The vulture with satellite tag No. C3 is in weak health. So it could not fly away,” said Krishna Prasad Bhusal, vulture conservation programme manager at Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN). Bhusal said that a signal from the bird’s tag confirmed it had been rescued in India. “The vulture may have fallen ill due to a lack of food,” said Bhusal, one of the conservationists involved in the tagging programme.
White-rumped vultures, locally known as dangar gidda, are critically endangered scavenging birds. They are the smallest among the nine vulture species found in Nepal.
Their population in South Asia dwindled during the 1990s due to diclofenac poisoning. The anti-inflammatory drug used to treat livestock, found its way into the body of the birds that feed on carcasses and resulted in kidney failure, studies show .
The rescued vulture, which is about 12 years old, was released from the vulture breeding centre in Pithauli, Nawalparasi (East) in November 2019. Bhusal said the vulture had been trapped in the local forest and kept at the breeding centre.
Altogether 13 vultures had been released together in their natural habitat after they were tagged to understand how vultures grown in captive breeding centres survived the natural habitat.
Conservationists said that the rescued vulture will be released after it is treated.. “We will ask Indian authorities to release the bird into the wild after its necessary treatment. They are currently providing care and treatment to the rescued vulture in the forest office,” said Bhusal.
According to conservationists, vultures generally fly within around 20 km from their base. However, some vultures released from the breeding centre were found to have travelled as far as 1,100 km.
Another vulture with tag No 10 recently reached Balarampur of India travelling 193 km. Another one, according to Bhusal, went to Jammu and Kashmir in India two years ago covering around 1,100km..
Vultures generally become weak after a long flight. Another vulture released from Pithauli was found in Manaslu Conservation Area in Gorkha district last week..
According to BCN, a total of 31 vultures have so far been tagged and released in the last three years under a collaboration between the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and BCN.
The population of white-rumped vulture has been gradually increasing after the government banned the production, sale and use of the drug in 2006. Around 2,000 white-rumped vultures are believed to roam Nepal’s skies.