Rare Cinereous Vulture Sighted in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve

by Biddappa PA
Biddappa PA / WCS-India

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

This species has a moderately small global population which appears to be suffering an ongoing decline in its Asiatic strongholds, despite the fact that in parts of Europe numbers are now increasing.

I observed three Cinereous Vultures (Aegypius monachus) in the Kabini backwaters area of the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve in December 2016. They were feeding on a kill alongside Long-billed Vultures and Red-headed (King) vultures.

This is just the fourth sighting of the species in South India though it is not an uncommon bird in North and Northwest India as well as the Himalayas. Just a few weeks ago an individual was seen flying over Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu, in February 2017, which was well reported in the media.

There have been a couple of other sightings of the bird from the Kabini area in Dec 2016 and Jan 2017.

This species has a moderately small global population (estimated at ~7,800-10,500 pairs) which appears to be suffering an ongoing decline in its Asiatic strongholds, despite the fact that in parts of Europe numbers are now increasing. Consequently, it qualifies as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List.

About the author

Biddappa PA

Biddappa is a Research Assistant with the Wildlife Conservation Society India (WCS-India) Program and works in the Mysore Malenad Tiger Landscape.



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