246 vultures spotted in first-ever synchronized survey in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka

Source: The post is based on the article “246 vultures spotted in first-ever synchronized survey in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka” published in The Hindu on 14th March 2023

What is the News?

The Kerala Forest and Wildlife department along with its counterparts in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka has conducted the first ever synchronized vulture survey in select regions of the Western Ghats.

Where was the first ever synchronized Vulture Survey carried out?

The survey was carried out in the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) and the adjoining landscape consisting of the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve(STR) in Tamil Nadu, the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) in Kerala, the Bandipur Tiger Reserve(BTR) and the Nagerhole Tiger Reserve (NTR) in Karnataka.

What was the method adopted to count the vultures in the survey?

Based on inputs from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Vulture Specialist Group, the Vantage Point Count Method was chosen as the survey methodology given the terrain’s hilly and undulating nature. 

In this method, the survey area was divided into hundred grids and one vantage point (a hilltop or the centre of an open plain that would provide a clear view) from each grid was selected. 

Ease of accessibility was also considered as a criterion for the vantage point.

What are the key findings of the survey?

As many as 246 vultures were spotted in the first­-ever synchronized survey.

The survey found vultures namely: White­rumped vultures , Long Billed vultures, Red Headed vultures, Egyptian vultures, Himalayan Griffon and Cinereous vultures.

Vultures in India:

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