Vulture census Forest Deptt keeps fingers crossed on estimation
   Date :20-Feb-2024

Vulture census 
By Ankita Garg
Though the three-day State Vulture Estimation programme has ended, the Forest Department would released the final data after detail assessment in month of May or June. According to reports, this year around 1,400 more vultures have been estimated in various areas of the State. Forest team has recorded marginal rise in vulture in many areas including Rewa, Mandsaur, Satna, Shahdol and few other districts. Foresters said that final census report will be revealed in month of May or June. Director of Van Vihar National Park Padampriya Balkrishnan said that final report is yet to be prepared as the team will be assessing data collection. She said that around 12,000 vultures are expected to be estimated in final report. She further informed that while collecting data for the vultures, team did not count the bird flying in the sky. The team checks nesting, eggs and other proof of their existence in particular area.
She said that vulture is very important for the eco-system and our environment. They are known as cleaning crew and very important for the food chain. The first vulture estimation in state was placed in January 2016 where around 6700 ‘cleaning crew’ were estimated across the State. The second vulture census plan was held in state in year 2021 in which 9,446 vultures were estimated. According to census 2021, Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary has 300 vultures in its all the six ranges. The sanctuary has seven different species of vultures. In Anuppur area, first day forest team estimated around 155 vultures in Ahirgaon and Anuppur forest circle areas. There were 39 vultures found near residential area. Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve (BTR) has also assessed around 200 vultures (including eggs and nesting) on first day.
Talking about the vulture conservation, Director Padampriya Balakrishnan said that Madhya Pradesh has proved that its ecology and conservation plans are working to increase the count of vultures. The State has highest 9,446 clean-up crew during year 2021. However, population of vulture species is on decline across the country and they are facing extinction. The State Forest Department is working towards conservation plans to maintain the count of vultures. She said that a breeding center is also set up there at Kerwa where an incubation centre helps to rear chick from eggs. Vulture breeding centre was set up at Mendora (Kerwa) during year 2015. Mendora breeding centre is the fourth in the country and first in Madhya Pradesh where underway vultures are being conserved.