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Present Status of Vultures in the Great Indian Thar Desert

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Abstract

Of the nine species of vultures found in India, seven have been observed in the Great Indian Thar Desert of Rajasthan, viz. the King vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), Cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus), Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Eurasian griffon (Gyps fulvus), Himalayan griffon (Gyps himalayensis), Long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus) and White-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis). Of these, the king vulture, long-billed vulture, white-backed vulture and Egyptian vulture are residents and breed in the region, whereas the Eurasian griffon, Himalayan griffon and cinereous vulture are winter visitors. Populations of both resident and migratory vultures were observed during the study period. The most common nesting sites are found on cliffs. The long-billed vulture nests and roosts on both cliffs and trees in this region an aspect requiring more intensive work. The white-backed vulture and king vulture also nest in large- and medium-sized trees, and were sighted less often than was the case for the long-billed vulture. The Egyptian vulture was found nesting on cliffs, trees, old buildings (‘havelees’) and high-electricity poles. Climatic conditions, availability of water, socio-economic conditions, traditional livestock rearing, land-use patterns and village institutions, including orans (village forests) and gauchars (village pastures), all play an important role in the conservation of vulture populations in Rajasthan.

Keywords

  • Thar Desert
  • Village Forest
  • Egyptian Vulture
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Cinereous Vulture

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Correspondence to A. K. Chhangani .

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Chhangani, A.K. (2009). Present Status of Vultures in the Great Indian Thar Desert. In: Sivaperuman, C., Baqri, Q.H., Ramaswamy, G., Naseema, M. (eds) Faunal Ecology and Conservation of the Great Indian Desert. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-87409-6_7

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