White-rumped vultures lay 17 eggs, hatch two chicks

Chitwan, December 31

Endangered white-rumped vultures have laid as many as 17 eggs and hatched two eggs in Chitwan National Park this season. This has been taken as a momentous achievement in the protection of white-rumped vultures.

Vultures are being protected at the CNP by establishing vulture breeding centre. CNP assistant protection officer Bed Bahadur Khadka said they had seen two eggs being hatched on CCTV camera footage. No humans are allowed to enter the habitat of vultures.

According to Khadka, the centre has 57 vultures. Of them, 25 are males and 24 are females. The gender of eight babies is yet to be identified.

Agriculture and Forestry Science University, Rampur, has been examining the gender of those vultures.

Last year, 15 vultures had laid eggs. Of them, nine eggs were hatched but only eight survived. A vulture at the breeding centre had laid an egg for the first time in 2012, but it failed to hatch. The vulture hatched egg in 2013. It hatched egg in 2015 also but the chick died soon.

CNP chief protection officer Ramchandra Kandel said they had expedited the protection work to increase the number of white-rumped vultures. He added that endangered vultures would grow up in the human-made habitat and would be set free in their natural habitat later.

The protection of white-rumped vulture started in 2007.The CNP has a plan to set free as many as 19 protected vultures into their natural habitat from 2016 to 2019.