2020-’21 census: Vulture population up by 1,011 in Madhya Pradesh,
Panna has the highest with 983

Bhopal: The vulture census in Madhya Pradesh has brought along some good news with it. An increase of 1,011 vultures has been observed during the past one year — the outcome of efforts done for conservation of the critically endangered bird. Panna district remains at the top with 983 vultures and counting.

As many as 8,397 vultures were counted in the last census conducted in 2019-’20. This year, the number of vultures has increased to 9,408 — an increase of 1,011 birds.

Panna divided into 2 parts: Forest staff and other officials engaged in the counting process in Panna had to divide the district into two parts considering the concentration of birds in the area. Panna-South registered 552 vultures, while Panna-North reported 431. The Panna Tiger Reserve, too, registered 666 vultures — the highest among any tiger reserve.

Mandsaur district registered 587 vultures, the second after Panna district. At least 416 birds were found in the adjoining district of Neemuch.

Two-phase census

  • The census of vultures was held in two phases

  • The first phase of counting was held in the month of October-November, while the second and conclusive phase was conducted in January-February

  • As many as 7 species of vultures are found in Madhya Pradesh, out of which 4 are local, while 3 species are migrant in nature and leave the state as soon as the winter is over

1,812 vulture habitat sites: According to latest census report, a total of 1,812 vulture habitat sites were found in all the 16 circles and 8 reserve forests across the state. Out of the total of 9,408 vultures in the state, 7,899 were adult, while the remaining 1,509 were placed in the juvenile category.

First census in 2016: The first census of vultures was conducted in 2016 and the figure stood at 7,028. In the previous census in 2019, 8397 vultures were found in Madhya Pradesh.

Besides forest officials, the help of volunteers and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) was also taken during the exercise.

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