Hyderabad: Ten new nesting sites of the long billed vulture have been found in Bejjur in Adilabad district. Bejjur, one of the few vulture conservation sites in the country, was discovered in 2012 as a vulture habitat.
A conservation programme was put in place the following year with a total of eight vultures. It is the only known vulture site in Telangana. Last year, the birth of eight chicks was recorded in Bejjur of which seven survived, taking the population to 26.
A pair of vultures lays one egg a year. Recently the vulture conservation effort at the Hyderabad zoo also bore fruit with a new chick being born, Bejjur forest range officer Ram Mohan said officials conduct surveys in surrounding villages and ensure that Diclofenac, the main reason behind the decline of the vulture population, is not being used.
“As the vulture population is increasing, the birds need to be tagged with GPS so that we know where they are moving. As the birds grow into adults it is possible that they will fly to other locations and we need to track them,” he said adding that it was a costly proposition but could prove helpful in the long run.
He said there might be two white-backed vultures too at Bejjur but it needs confirmation. Field biologist Ravi Kanth at Bejjur said, “The site has two water resources nearby, the Pranahita river and the peddavagu stream which have water all through the year. This plays an important role in the survival of the vultures. The vultures usually fly to sites across the river in Maharashtra and to sometimes the vulture restaurant where the forest department lays animal carcasses for them.”...