Gujarat loses 70% of its vultures

AHMEDABAD: Since the first census in 2005, the number of bird scavengers in Gujarat has decreased by almost 70%. The 2018 census reveals that the decline continues and between 2016 and 2018, the number decreased by 18%. The 2016 census had found 999 vultures in the state, while the 2018 census estimated that there were only 820 vultures left. The vultures in the state include the species of white tailbone, long beak, redhead and Egyptian. The numbers of biting vultures have been discussed even in the Lok Sabha.

“In 2005, there were 2,642 vultures in the state; the figure was 1,437 in 2007, a drop of 48%, ”said a senior official involved in bird counting. Since then, the number has decreased by more than 600. The 2018 Census data reveals that, compared to 2005, there has been a drop of more than 800. The Surat district had more than 300 vultures, even in the area; Now he has none.

In Lok Sabha, the matter was raised by Pratima Mondal of the Trinamool Congress In the current session The government responded that the decline in vulture populations in the country was first noticed in the mid-1990s and in 2007, there was a 99% decrease in populations of three Gyps vulture species. By 2011, the government said, populations began to stabilize. By 2015, it was noted that the population of whiteback vultures was stable, but the population of long-nosed vultures was still declining.

The Gujarat forestry department in collaboration with the Gujarat Ecological Education and Research Foundation has been monitoring populations since 2005, the government said. The most recent estimate of the vulture population in Gujarat was made at the beginning of June 2018. A decrease of 75.8% was recorded in the Gyps vulture population in the state between 2005 and 2018.

Forest department officials said the data reveals that Junagadh, which houses the Gir and Girnar sanctuaries, has recorded an increase of 26 vultures according to the 2018 count. Compared to the 2016 census, of the 33 state districts, only eight recorded an increase in vulture populations: Patan, Sabarkantha, Tapi, Bhavnagar, Gandhinagar, Banaskantha, Mahisagar and Anand. Sixteen districts reported a decrease compared to 2016. Amreli lost 63 vultures, Surendranagar 38 and Dang 35.