In a first, Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has started radio tagging vultures in order to keep a tab on their depleting population.
According to a report by Times of India, the ambitious project was launched in order to track the movement and habits of these scavenger birds which are now endangered.
The Panna Tiger Reserve is now listed as part of the UNESCO’s network of biosphere reserve. The project has been launched by the Wildlife Institute of India. As part of the project, 25 of the vultures in the park will be radio tagged in the first phase.
MP: A project of radio tagging of vultures has started at Panna Tiger Reserve to check on their depleting populationForest Dept says,"Project has started with 'Walk into cage' method under which vultures attracted with meat to enter a large cage.25 vultures to be radio-tagged." pic.twitter.com/SzyE2zfL0J
— ANI (@ANI) December 3, 2020
The project was originally launched about ten days ago. However, the actual process of radio tagging the birds will take place between December 5 and 10. Currently, cages have been placed inside the park, with large pieces of meat, in order to lure the birds in. The forest department told ANI, “Project has started with ‘Walk into cage’ method under which vultures attracted with meat to enter a large cage.25 vultures to be radio-tagged."
One of the officials told TOI that the process of radio tagging will start only when the birds become accustomed to the idea of consuming meat in a cage.
The population of vultures in the country has declined sharply from four crore to less than four lakh in three decades, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had said in February this year. He had revealed that veterinary drug ‘diclofenac’, used to treat cattle, lead to death of vultures after they consume the dead animals.
In a similar incident, the only known white giraffe in the world has been fitted with a GPS tracking device in an effort to protect him from poachers in Kenya. The unique male giraffe now stands alone after a female and her calf were killed by poachers in March. The GPS tracking device, secured to one of the animal’s horns, will give hourly updates of his location, said the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy in a press release two weeks ago.
Rangers will be able to monitor the giraffe’s movements in the conservancy located in Garissa County, eastern Kenya. The world’s only known white giraffe lives in the Ishaqbini Community Conservancy, Garissa County. The world’s tallest land animal has lost 40% of its population in just 30 years, the African Wildlife Foundation estimates.