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Maharashtra to come up with protocol to keep track of sightings after rare vulture spotted for first time

The state forest department is monitoring the bird's movement and also trying to find out if it is alone or has a partner. If there is a pair, they may lay eggs.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
May 28, 2021 1:47:05 am
Maharashtra to come up with protocol to keep track of sightings after rare vulture spotted for first time in stateThe migratory bird is found in Tibet, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Mongolia and West China. (File Photo)

Days after a Eurasian Griffon Vulture was spotted in Satara district’s Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary in the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, the state forest department is planning to put in place a monitoring protocol to keep track of such sightings.

The migratory bird is found in Tibet, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Mongolia and West China. In India, it is mostly seen as a migratory bird in the Himalayas and the northern plains. It was sighted for the first time in the state.

Forest guard Santosh Chalke spotted the bird around 10 am on May 9. It had an orange tag. The department later found that the bird was tagged in Kannur and released in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

The tagging of birds helps monitor them and enables birders to report a sighting with the help of the code number mentioned in the tag.

The bird was initially found last year at Chakkarakkal in Kannur in an exhausted condition. It was rescued by Malabar Awareness and Rescue Centre for Wildlife (MARC) rescuer Sandeep M C on December 28 and kept in the aviary of MARC at Kannur with the permission of the Kerala forest department.

After treatment, the bird was released into the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary on January 31 under the guidance of Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Center, with a flag on its wings and a ring on its feet.

When the bird was sighted at Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, only the flag on its wing was visible in the photograph taken by the forest guard.

The state forest department is monitoring the bird’s movement and also trying to find out if it is alone or has a partner. If there is a pair, they may lay eggs.

Ben Clement, chief conservator of forests, Kolhapur territorial, said: “Following the sighting, our officers and the forest guard did patrol the area for another sighting. However, we could not see it again. We have held several video conference calls with officials from Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and ornithologists to prepare a monitoring plan.”

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