Bhopal: Highest population of vulture recorded in MP

Bhopal: According to the figures of latest census with the head count of 8300- MP has emerged as the state with the highest population of the vulture population in the country. A rise of 1300 vultures has been registered in the census which ended on January 12 from the count done in 2016, bringing cheer to the forest department officials.

Additional principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) Alok Kumar said, “The increase in vulture population shows that safe environ prevails for the vultures in MP.” “The vulture count has, marginally, gone down in four tiger reserves and also in Kuno Lion project area. We are looking into it,” he added

There has been a 30 per cent fall in Panna Tiger reserve, where the count fell from 811 in 2016 to 567. Kuno Lion project also recorded a fall of over 32 per cent from a count of 361 in 2016 to 242. In MP 45 per cent vultures have been counted in the protected areas. mong the districts, the maximum number of vultures- 658 were spotted in Raisen (295 in 2016) followed by 650 in Mandsaur (650 in 2016), he added.

Diclofenac threat

According to the 2016 survey, MP is home to around 47 per cent of the total population of vulture in India. The White Rumped vulture forms about 21.6 per of this population. Use of Diclofenac, a painkiller used to treat livestock, was behind the decline in vulture population. The vultures died of renal failure on eating carcass of cattle treated with Diclofenac. Following a ban on drug- in 2006 the remains of diclofenac was identified in the 10 per cent of the carcasses and it came down to 6 per cent in 2011.

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