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White-rumped Vulture UPSC NOTE

 

White-rumped vulture

  • The white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) is an Old World vulture native to South and Southeast Asia. 

  • It has been listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2000, as the population severely declined. 

  • White-rumped vultures die of kidney failure caused by diclofenac poisoning.

  • In the 1980s, the global population was estimated at several million individuals, and it was thought to be "the most abundant large bird of prey in the world".

  • As of 2021, the global population was estimated at less than 6,000 mature individuals.

  • It is closely related to the European griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus). 

  • At one time it was believed to be closer to the white-backed vulture of Africa and was known as the Oriental white-backed vulture.

Sigur Plateau

Sigur Plateau

  • Sigur Plateau (Segur Plateau) is a plateau in the north and east of Nilgiri District in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu.

  • Portion of the Moyar River drainage basin on the northern slopes of the Nilgiri Hills, south of the Moyar River.

  • It is important wildlife corridor in the Western ghats to sustain elephant and tiger numbers and their genetic diversity.

  • It is an important link between several contiguous protected areas forming the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the largest protected forest area in India. 

  • This area supports over 6,300 elephants,that represents the largest single population of elephants and tigers in India.

  • The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which includes Sigur Plateau and the Nilgiri Hills, is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

  • A proposal has been initiated to notify Sigur and adjoining forest areas as a wildlife sanctuary for Vultures.

Why it is in news?

  • Despite the protective measures, the future remains extremely perilous for the critically endangered white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) in the Sigur plateau in the Nilgiris, the last southernmost viable breeding population for the species in India.

  • A study has highlighted the stagnation of the population in Sigur.

  • Data from the recent synchronous vulture census in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have shown that the white-rumped vulture population remains roughly in the same range.

  • The white-rumped and other vulture species in India have been decimated by the use of diclofenac and a few other Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) in cattle.

  • Anthropogenic pressures, such as cattle-grazing and poorly designed check-dams, have depleted the habitats over the last few years. 

  • Prime nesting site at Jagalikadavu has been impacted severely by the check-dams along the Sigurhalla river that have restricted water flow, killing off many Terminalia arjuna trees where the vulture nest.

  • The vulture is a colonial species. Due to anthropogenic pressures and the degrading habitat, the species is having to split up into smaller groups across Mudumalai to survive.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: White-rumped Vulture UPSC NOTE
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