Vultures in Panna Tiger Reserve of Madhya Pradesh

Around two dozen vultures in Madhya Pradesh’s Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) have been tagged with GPS gadgets a few month in the past as a part of a scientific train to watch vulture motion as a way to higher perceive the species’ behaviour within the protected space.

“We have tagged 25 vultures so far – 13 Indian vultures, 8 Himalayan griffon vultures, 2 Eurasian griffon vultures, and 2 king vultures,” Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientist Ramesh Krishnamurthy knowledgeable. “These vultures were captured using a variety of methods, including a walk-in enclosure, a leg-hold trap, and a claptrap.” “These were well-established traditional methods that had proven successful across the country for tagging a variety of migratory birds, including vultures,” he defined. Among the tagged vultures is the critically endangered Indian vulture (Gyps indicus).

During the winters of 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, a staff of veterinarians from the Wildlife Institute of India labored with skilled trappers, resident veterinary officers, and PTR park officers to tag vultures as a part of the Landscape Management Plan mission.

Preparation, capturing, tagging, measuring, and releasing have been all a part of the method. Every day, the staff would arrive on the area earlier than dawn, arrange traps, and look forward to the birds, in line with Krishnamurthy, who added, “Sometimes vultures come to the trap station, but on other occasions, they do not.” They ultimately managed to seize the birds, which needed to be dealt with fastidiously on account of their measurement and fragility.

Among the difficulties encountered by the staff was the truth that the baiting stations they arrange for the vultures attracted different wildlife, together with tigers, which deterred the vultures, who took longer to come back to the bait, in line with Krishnamurthy.

Finally, the captured vultures have been fitted with superior GPS tags referred to as e-ObsTags. The tags, that are made in Germany, are solar-powered and weigh between 25 and 75 g, which is sort of gentle compared to the birds, which weigh greater than 12 kg, in line with an official.

According to Krishnamurthy, the tags have been programmed to gather and retailer knowledge earlier than transmitting it each time they got here into contact with a transmission hyperlink. “It is a GSM-based tag, and data is transmitted when the birds take flight and soar,” he added. Furthermore, it collects knowledge each 5 minutes, permitting for fine-scale knowledge in addition to elevation, temperature, and exercise.”

Because the tagging included each resident and migratory vultures, the motion knowledge will enable wildlife conservationists to look at the vultures’ feeding and roosting areas. This info, in flip, assists the staff in planning conservation and safety interventions in areas the place vultures face threats.

The GPS tags operate equally to smartwatches that people use of their every day routines equivalent to jogging and train, in line with Dibyendu Biswas, WII’s Junior Research Fellow. Similarly, to how smartwatches inform us how lengthy we have run, what number of steps we have taken, and so forth, GPS tags inform us about vulture behaviour, he says.

Vulture tagging will help wildlife conservationists in acquiring detailed details about vulture motion, every day behaviour equivalent to the best way vultures drink water and work together with each other, adaptability to new areas of motion, and the way they safe such new areas of motion.

These particulars will assist within the growth of a greater understanding of the conservation of the species that present invaluable ecosystem companies by enhancing the movement of vitamins inside meals webs and lowering infectious illness transmission via the removing of carrion.

“Madhya Pradesh has gotten good results in the conservation of vulture species,” says Uttam Kumar Sharma, Director of Panna National Park (PNP). The variety of vultures (within the state) has risen to 9,446 by 2021.” According to a press launch from the park, India has 9 species of vultures, three of that are critically endangered, and 7 of the full species are present in PNP. Migratory species such because the Himalayan griffon vulture, Eurasian griffon vulture, and Cinereous vulture might be present in PNP, as can resident species such because the Indian vulture, white-rumped vulture, red-headed vulture, and Egyptian vulture.

Since the catastrophic decline of vultures on the finish of the final century, telemetry-based analysis has develop into vital for understanding these birds’ motion patterns. This consists of migration, foraging, roosting, nesting, bathing, and different behaviours, all of that are vital for his or her conservation, particularly since these birds require massive areas for survival, equivalent to human areas and carcass dumps. According to the present scientific literature, 14 vulture species have been tagged and studied in 24 nations, however none from India.

The present research will acquire baseline knowledge on these actions on a spatiotemporal scale. Furthermore, haematological and microbiological evaluation of the collected samples will assist in figuring out the general well being standing of the people and, to a lesser extent, the well being of the vulture populations in and across the reserve. All of the present research’s findings could have important coverage implications, as they are going to fill current data gaps and contribute to adaptive administration of those raptors within the Greater Panna Landscape.


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