Cinereous Vulture Rescue By Forest Department in Melghat

Mufaddal A Shakir

This cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) was found on the first day of a line transect survey, on Feb 10th, 2012 at around 8:30 AM in the Suklihenda Valley in Dhakna Wildlife Range, under Melghat Tiger Reserve. It almost fell to the ground from what appeared to be illness or hunger. We quickly rescued it from predators and took the vulture to our range headquarters at Dhakna. It was treated here by Dr. Swapnil Sonone of Youth for Nature Conservation (YNCO). After treatment and feeding, the vulture recovered well and was able to fly. On the morning of 19th February, when the vulture was being fed, it flew away back towards what appeared to be home. We are trying to track him and locate his colony in the above said valley. The vulture weighed 12-14 kgs, and its wingspan measured 230 cms. Foresters Mr. Mufaddal A Shakir and Mr. Sadanand S Pachange, Dhakna Wildlife Range, under Melghat Reserve, were involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of the vulture.

Editor’s notes: Aegypius monachus is classified as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List. It breeds in Eurasia, the Middle East and in Northern India and Pakistan. Very little is known about its population trends, although wintering populations appear to be declining in Nepal and increasing in India and South Korea.

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