25 Feb 2024

Vulture Population in Madhya Pradesh Surpasses 10,000; These Are Factors Behind Surge in Vulture Numbers; Bhopal Hosts White-Backed Vultures

Following the cheetah, tiger, gharial, and leopard populations in Madhya Pradesh, there is now a rising possibility of state taking the lead in harboring the highest number of vultures in the country. The 2024 vulture census, conducted in the state from February 16 to 18, revealed a count exceeding 10,000 vultures. 

However, this is not the final tally, as data from several locations is yet to be included in the calculations. The conclusive figures regarding the vulture population in the state are expected to be released in April 2024. 

The highest number of vultures are found in Panna. Bhopal is the home of White-Backed Vultures.

Forest Department officials said that in 2021, the state already recorded the highest number of vultures, with 9,446 counted. While some states do not conduct vulture censuses, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat had conducted them last time, with 5,000 and 4,000 vultures respectively.

Factors Behind Surge in Vulture Numbers

In 2019, the state's vulture population stood at 7,906, indicating a continuous upward trend. The Forest Department and Wildlife Institute collaborated in counting vultures at over 900 locations across 33 districts, covering all seven tiger reserves, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries in the state. Officials attribute the increase to the substantial protected forest areas, numerous tiger reserves, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries in the state.

Ecological Importance of Vultures

Vultures, being scavengers that exclusively consume carcasses of large animals, contribute significantly to preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Their role in maintaining a clean environment is crucial. Around 1990, the vulture population in the country was approximately four crores, but it continuously declined. India harbors nine vulture species, with four of them classified as endangered.

No comments:

Post a Comment