Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vultures of Central India

  1. The Red-headed Vulture is also known as the Asian King Vulture, Indian Black Vulture or Pondicherry Vulture. It is mainly found in the Indian Subcontinent, with small disjunct populations in some parts of Southeast Asia. Wikipedia
  2. Scientific nameSarcogyps calvus
  3. Mass3.5 – 6.3 kg
  4. Length76 – 86 cm
  5. RankSpecies
  6. Wingspan2 – 2.6 m
This Red headed vulture( was spotted in Madhav National park at Shivpuri Madhya Pradesh on 31st May 2015. It is also known as Asian King Vulture or Indian Black Vulture or Pondicherry vulture. It is known as Raaj gidh , Mulla gidh and Bhaonra in hindi and Kalo shakun or Raj Shakun in Bengali. I is one of the species of old Word Vulture found in Indian subcontinent. Its population showed reduction in population due to the use of Diclofenac in veterinary medicine. This bird has its own importance in Hindu mythology, Gidh Raaj has its mention in Ramayan too.

Indian Vulture(Gyps indicus) an old world vulture is a scavenger feeds mainly on carrion from both urban and rural landscapes. Although sometimes regarded as ugly and gross, vultures play very important role in keeping ecosystems healthy. They serve both a biological and cultural significance. 23 species of vultures are known and they are classified into two groups: Old World Vultures and New World Vultures. There are 16 species of Old world vultures and 7 species of new world vulture. Old World vultures inhabit Africa, Asia, and Europe. New World Vultures can be found throughout the Americas.Old World species, members have an amazing sense of smell to locate food, having the ability to find their meal up to several kilometers away. Indian vulture is a member of Old world vulture. All species of vultures are shown to be very intelligent. It has its mythological importance too. It helped Lord Rama in finding Goddess Sita in Ramayan.
These vultures play a significant role in keeping our ecosystem healthy and clean. They do not hunt live prey. Their number declined up to 95% during 90s and 2000 due to poisoning caused by the veterinary drug diclofenac which causes renal failure in them. It was listed as critically endangered . Various efforts are made to protect and increase their population. Vulture restaurants is one in this direction. It was really nice to see indian vultures in such a large number in Madhav National Park Shivpuri, M.P. India.1 September marks International Vulture Awareness Day to create awareness regarding this bird among common mass.

Egyptian Vulture