Researchers from the Institute of Wildlife Sciences at Lucknow University have finally compiled all reports of the state-wide consensus regarding vultures and sarus cranes in UP. Conducted by the state biodiversity board, these data records have been developed to analyse the survival threats being faced by both the species due to habitat destruction in the state. The finding of these files will assist the board and forest department to map the overall behaviour of the birds, to map preservation programmes.
Developing atlases for sarus & vultures in UP
The biodiversity board in UP launched an extensive census programme, the records of which are being managed and collated at the IWS Centre at Lucknow University. While the two-phase census for vultures was completed on June 16, it was not until Sunday that the Lucknow varsity and the forest department rounded up the third phase of the sarus census.
The data records and census will further lead to the generation of the first-ever atlas on the two breeds. These atlases or maps will in turn help the board and the forest department to locate, monitor and understand where the threatened birds mate, breed, nest and feed. In the case of vultures, it would also map the roosting sites (where the birds rest or sleep on giant, tall trees).
Charting preservation plans for the threatened birds
The findings of the behaviour and breeding pattern will form the basis of the conservation and preservation plans charted for the two threatened species. It may be noted here that the sarus is the state bird of Uttar Pradesh, however, depletion of its natural habitat is ringing alarms over its existence. On the other hand. vultures are critically endangered and protected under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act.
Uttar Pradesh plays a pivotal role in saving the vulture species in India, for its fauna boasts of 8 out of the 9 variety of vulture birds found in the country. Here also, the destruction of habitat and threat of poaching has threatened their survival. Further, these birds lay only one egg in a year and the poor survival rate of the hatchlings further reduce the population size.
Earlier in January, a pre-breeding censure of vultures was conducted and now, a post-breeding record was concluded last week. This data would be compared to understand breeding patterns and trends. These records will help to gather information about vultures since a lot is not known about them, read reports. Similarly, two previous rounds of the sarus census were rounded in September and January.