HIMALAYAN VULTURE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 - Env & Eco)

News-CRUX-10     4th August 2023        

Context: Researchers have recorded the first instance of captive breeding of the Himalayan vulture (Gyps himalayensis) in India at the Assam State Zoo, Guwahati.

  • Categorised as ‘Near Threatened’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species, the Himalayan vulture is a common winter migrant to the Indian plains, and a resident of the high Himalayas.

Himalayan vulture

  • Scientific Name: Gyps himalayensis
      • It is a rare and largest bird native to the Himalayas
  • Habitat: It lives mainly in the higher regions of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau at the elevation of above 1500 metres.
      • This species is distributed from western China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, east through the Himalayan mountain range in India, Nepal and Bhutan, to central China and Mongolia.
  • Conservation status: The vulture is listed as “Near Threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
      • The species is covered by a Multi-species Action Plan (MsAP) for the conservation of African-Eurasian vultures and by national Action Plans in India , Bangladesh, Nepal and Cambodia.
  • Threats: The most serious potential threat to this species is thought to be mortality caused through ingestion of diclofenac and other vulture-toxic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) widely used in livestock, particularly in South Asia.
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