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Census: 125 vultures of four species found in Orchha sanctuary

BHOPAL: As many as 125 vultures of four species and their nests have been found in Orchha Sanctuary in Tikamgarh district during the first-ever vulture census.

The finds include 50 indigenous vultures, 63 White Backed, nine Egyptian and three King Vultures. For the first time, migratory Cinereous Griffon vulture, which comes from the Himalayas, was also found. Lucknow University’s zoologist Amita Kanojiya has presented census report with her recommendations.

Conservator of forests in Tikamgarh division MC Simhal said only 3 per cent vultures have survived in the world. IUCN has included vultures of ‘gyps specie’ to endangered list. As the number of vultures has declined in MP during the last two decades, the forest department is making special efforts for vulture conservation.

The vulture census was conducted scientifically from December 17 to 18, 2012 in Orchha’s Sinauniya, Chhatri Samooh, Mador Jahangir Mahal, Kori Guleda and Karipadar areas. The team that was carrying out the census came across 125 vultures of White Backed, Long Billed, Egyptian and King species.

As per the census report, 14 vultures have been found in Sinauniya area of Orchha sanctuary including one Indian, 11 White Backed, two Egyptian vultures and one nest. As many as 25 vultures have been detected in Chhatri Samooh area including three Egyptian and 14 nests of Indian vultures.

In Mador, only one vulture and one nest each of Egyptian and Indian species were found, while six Indian, 17 White Backed and three King Vultures were found in Guleda area. Out of 22 species of vulture, 15 are found in eastern and seven in western countries. Amendments have been made to the Wildlife Conservation Act-2002 for conservation of vultures which have come under the Wildlife Act-1972.