Census to enumerate total number of vultures in South India
The vulture census, which is being conducted jointly in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, will give an exact number of the vultures in South India.
Chennai: The vulture census, which is being conducted jointly in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, will give an exact number of the vultures in South India.
The census is being conducted by 30 teams with five members in each team consisting of two from the forest department, two students pursuing wildlife biology, and one volunteer.
The modus operandi of the census is to climb atop the hills in the South Indian states and conduct an exact study of the vultures that are flying across. The hills are selected for the census as they would give a clear view of the plains that will help enumerate the numbers of vultures as well as the different species prevalent.
The team, according to Tamil Nadu forest department officials, has identified red-headed, long-billed, and white-rumped vultures in addition to Egyptian vultures.
A researcher, while speaking to IANS, said that the number of vultures in Kerala and Karnataka are lower when compared to Tamil Nadu as per a research paper presented during a national seminar in OOty in 2018.
The study also revealed that the vultures have shifted their nesting locations into deeper forest areas in Madumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) but the number of nesting places have not come down in any significant manner.
Shivakumar, a volunteer at MTR, while speaking to IANS, said, “We found that the vultures have shifted their nesting place from Siriyur to Gudalpatti but there is no fall in the numbers, it seems.”
The Tamil Nadu forest department which is coordinating the survey will be announcing the results in three weeks.
The forest department is also planning to conduct an awareness programme for farmers across the state to make them aware of the ill use of certain veterinary drugs to domestic animals including cows, goats, and dogs as the vultures that eat the carcasses of these domestic animals would face serious health consequences.