Heat stress, dehydration killing vultures in Ramnagar by Anupma Khanna

In an observation that has alarmed conservation activists and wildlife scientists, the near-extinct Indian White-backed Vulture, inhabiting Ringora village in Ramnagar, has been showing signs of a disturbing illness caused by heat stress, that experts warn will bode the death of the endangered species if not addressed immediately. Researchers of Corbett-based Mahseer Conservancy, who have been undertaking the annual vulture monitoring exercise in the region, report that every evening, after the heat of the day, as many as 90 per cent of the vultures in the colony can be found perched on trees...
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If vultures can go what is next? , by Oliver Gray-Read

Today we hear of so many species ‘facing extinction’ or ‘wiped out over most of their range’ that we can become slightly de-sensitized and numb to what seems at time to be a grim and inevitable play with us playing the villain. In the last twenty years three species of Indian vulture have gone from being one of the most prolifically abundant raptors to top of the IUCN Critically Endangered list. The reason behind the current Indian Vulture disaster that befell those graceful giants of the sky is the same as for the cause of the declines in so many other species; humans. But is there something...
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Hope takes wings as vulture colonies thrive in Uttarakhand, by Anupma Khanna

The Pionner, October 5, 2009 In a major boost for environmentalists, vultures were sighted in Uttarakhand after the recent discovery of the near-extinct birds in Himachal Pradesh. Over 150 vultures of five species can be found nesting and feeding at three locations around Ramnagar in Uttarakhand — Van Gujjar village of Tumeria, Ringora and Hatidagar. The three sites fall under two categories: Regular nesting sites (Ringora and Tumeria): Vultures are consistently seen roosting and occupying nests throughout the year and these are likely to be important breeding sites; Regular feeding sites (Hatidagar):...
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Vulture conservation gets a boost through Ramlilas in Uttarakhand, by Vipul Goel

September 29th, 2009 RAMNAGAR – With the vulture population declining alarmingly in Uttarakhand’s Ramnagar area, which adjoins the Corbett Wildlife Sanctuary, a group of pro-wildlife activists and forest rangers are engaged in spreading public awareness about their conservation in the region. Under the banner of the Corbett Vulture Conservation Committee, the NGO activists recently used the annual Ramlilas, held during the Dussehra festival, to promote awareness about vultures. Jatayu Bhagwan, a Demi god in form of a vulture, who finds mention in they mythological epic Ramayana, was used...
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Jacob Graham-Savoie

Jacob worked with us for the conservation of Indian vultures in general and more specifically the critically endangered White-rumped vulture, during three months. Their big decline is due to the use of an anti-inflammatory drug, Diclofenac, which is given to the cattle when sick. The problem with this drug is that when it is ingested by the vultures, it makes them die in few days. And only one carcass is enough to eradicate a whole colony. While he was here, Jacob stayed at Ringora’s homestay. It was an ideal place to work since there is a colony of White-rumped vultures in three trees, located...
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Community Awareness at the Ramleelas; the Corbett Vulture Campaign spreads the message, by Piers Griffith-Jones

Hanuman and Ram Ram Leelas are one of the most celebrated festivals in the Hindu religion. The format is for every town and village to hold their own Ram Leelas re-enacting the Ramayana – the story of Rama – over 10 consecutive days, telling each “chapter” of the story on the different days. The general overview of the Ramayana is that after Rama, Lakshman and Sita are exiled into the forest Sita is kidnapped by the king of Lanka, Ravana. With the help of the monkey army led by Hanuman and also some vultures who have seen Ravana taking Sita, Rama and Lakshman begin their epic voyage...
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