Nepal | March 29, 2020

Vultures making a comeback

Himalayan News Service

White-rumped vultures perched on a tree in Chitwan National Park, on Monday, March 6, 2017. Photo: THT

Chitwan, March 6

With the hatching of nine new white-rumped vulture nestlings, one of the critically endangered species in the world, at Kasara-based Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s efforts to increase the species have turned fruitful.

The breeding centre at the National Park was set up in 2007 when the population of white-rumped vultures declined drastically. This species is said to be on the verge of extinction due to the threat of climate change, problem of  habitat, use of drugs and food crunch of late.

The breeding centre has been collecting nestlings from across the country from 2007 to 2010. According to Assistant Conservation Officer Bed Bahadur Khadka, the breeding centre has been housing 25 male and 31 female vultures. “Though 15 female vultures laid eggs, only nine of them hatched,” said Khadka. The vultures have been kept in four houses.

The breeding centre has been working in coordination with the Department of National Park, National Nature Conservation Trust and Nepal Birds’ Conservation Association.

Basu Bidari, former chairperson of Nepal Bird Education Society, says that if the population of this vulture is not kept in check, then it will most likely vanish from the planet soon.

A vet and three care givers look after the rare species. The government, along with various non-governmental organisations, has been allocating a considerable amount of budget for the conservation of vultures. A bird of this species lays a single egg in a year and its life expectancy is said to be around 40 years.

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A version of this article appears in print on March 07, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


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