Main Article Content
The present study aimed to assess the population status, breeding ecology, and conservation threats of Critically Endangered White-rumped Vulture in Sigur Plateau, Tamil Nadu, India from June 2011 to May 2012. The population of White-rumped vulture was estimated in the roosting and nesting sites twice in a month. Nesting colonies were systematically visited four times in a month during the breeding season to study nesting and breeding ecology. Carcasses and vulture counting was done by opportunistic count method. Two sets of questionnaires namely ‘precise and closed’ and ‘broad and open-ended’ were developed to asses the people’s perception on vulture conservation. The overall population of White-rumped Vultures was estimated about 70 to 115 individuals. In total, 68 nests were observed in two nesting colonies. Most of the nests (97%) were recorded on Terminalia arjuna and only 3% on Spondias mangifera. Among the 68 constructed nests, 34 were incubated and 30 chicks were fledged out from the nests with 88% breeding success. Feeding behavior was observed from 28 carcasses, Vultures were attended only 15 caracasses an average of 56.04±3.29 individuals of vultures were recorded. Interestingly, Elephant (61.8±5.1) and Indian Gaur (58.5±0.3) carcasses were attracted in greater numbers of vultures in susiquent days (3.5±0.2) than other carcasses. People’s attitude to vulture conservation was positive and useful in 90.82% of the cases (n=99). Cattle carcass disposal method favored to vultures in these regions. The Sigur Plateau to be declared as “Vulture Sanctuary” in order to legally protect and conserve the country’s southern-most wild and viable Critically Endangered White-rumped Vulture population in the landscape.
Authors own the copyright to the articles published in JoTT. This is indicated explicitly in each publication. The authors grant permission to the publisher Wildlife Information Liaison Development (WILD) Society to publish the article in the Journal of Threatened Taxa. The authors recognize WILD as the original publisher, and to sell hard copies of the Journal and article to any buyer. JoTT is registered under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), which allows authors to retain copyright ownership. Under this license the authors allow anyone to download, cite, use the data, modify, reprint, copy and distribute provided the authors and source of publication are credited through appropriate citations (e.g., Son et al. (2016). Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of the southeastern Truong Son Mountains, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam. Journal of Threatened Taxa 8(7): 8953–8969. https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.27188.8.131.5253-8969). Users of the data do not require specific permission from the authors or the publisher.
Acharya, R., R. Cuthbert, H.S. Baral & K.B. Shah (2009). Rapid population declines of Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis in Upper Mustang, Nepal. Bird Conservation International 19(1): 99–107. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959270908007417 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959270908007417
Baral, N. & R. Gautam (2007). Socio-economic perspectives on the conservation of critically endangered vultures in south-east Asia: an empirical study from Nepal. Bird Conservation International 17: 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959270907000688 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959270907000688
Baral, N., R. Gautam & B. Tamang (2005). Population status and breeding ecology of White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis in Rampur Valley, Nepal. Forktail 21: 87–91.
BirdLife International (2001). Threatened birds of Asia – the BirdLife International Red Data Book, BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK, 3038pp.
BirdLife International (2018). Species factsheet: Gyps bengalensis. Downloadedfrom http://www.birdlife.org on 29 August 2018.
Campbell, M. (2015). Vultures: their evolution, ecology and conservation. London and New York, CRC Press, Taylorand Francis Group, 374pp. https://doi.org/10.1201/b18638 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1201/b18638
Chomba, C E. & M’Simuko (2013). Nesting patterns of raptors: White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) and African fisheagle (Haliaeetus vocifer), in Lochinvar National Park on the Kafue flats, Zambia. Open Journal of Ecology 3(5): 325–330. https://doi.org/10.4236/oje.2013.35037 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4236/oje.2013.35037
Cuthbert, R., J. Parry-Jones, R.E. Green & D.J. Pain (2016). NSAIDs and scavenging birds: potential impacts beyond Asia’s critically endangered vultures. Biological Letters 3: 90–93. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2006.0554 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2006.0554
Chaudhary, A., T.S. Subedi, J.B. Giri, H.S Baral, I. Chaudhary, K. Paudel & R.J. Cuthbert (2012). Population trends of Critically Endangered Gyps vultures in the lowlands of Nepal. Bird Conservation International 22: 270–278. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959270911000426 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959270911000426
Chhangani, A.K. (2007). Sightings and nesting sites of red-headed vulture Sarcogyps calvus in Rajasthan, India. Indian Birds 3(6): 218–221.
Das, S.K., A. Dashahare, S. Marathe, N. Kundu & R. Kesharwani (2011). Status of raptors with special reference to vultures in and around Rajaji National Park, India. World Journal of Zoology 6(4): 350–356.
Davidar, P. (2007).Indian White-backed Vultures Gyps bengalensis in the Sigur region of Tamil Nadu. Indian Birds 3(4): 149.
Davidar, E.R.C. & P. Davidar (2002). Possible causes for the decline of Oriental White-rumped vultures (Gyps bengalensis) in the Sigur region (Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu), India. Vulture News 47: 3–6.
Dhakal, H., K.M. Baral, K.P. Bhusal & H.P. Sharma (2014). First record of nests and breeding success of red-headed vultureSarcogyps calvus and implementation of vulture conservation programs in Nepal. Ela Journal 3(3): 9–15.
Emmett, M. (2003). A preliminary survey of the density of Chacma baboon at Ngala. Ecology Journal 5: 84–89.
Gilbert, M., R.E. Green, S. Ranade, S. Saravanan, D.J Pain, V. Prakash & A.A. Cunningham (2006). Rapid population declines and mortality clusters in three Oriental White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis colonies in Pakistan due to diclofenac poisoning. Oryx 40: 388–399.https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605306001347 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605306001347
Green, R.E., I. Newton, S. Shultz, A.A. Cunningham, M. Gilbert, D.J. Pain & V. Prakash (2004).Diclofenac poisoning as a cause of vulture population declines across the Indian subcontinent. Journal of Applied Ecology 41(5): 793–800. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0021-8901.2004.00954.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0021-8901.2004.00954.x
Herholdt, J.J. & M.D. Anderson (2006). Observations on the populationand breeding status of the African White-backed Vulture, theBlack-chested Snake Eagle, and the Secretarybird in the KgalagadiTransfrontier Park. Ostrich 77: 127–135. https://doi.org/10.2989/00306520609485523 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2989/00306520609485523
Jha, K.K., M. O. Campbell & J.Radhika (2020).Vultures, their population status and some ecological aspects in an Indian stronghold.Notulae Scientia Biologicae 12(1): 124–142. https://doi.org/10.15835/nsb12110547 DOI: https://doi.org/10.15835/nsb12110547
Kalanithi, S., A. Samson & B. Ramakrishnan (2018). Research and survey operation by engaging vulture watchers, The Nilgiris North Forest Division, Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris. pp. 114–118. In: Ramakrishnan, B. (ed.) Proceedings of the workshop on “Securing Vulture Population in Southern India (SVPSI 2018). Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India, 138pp.
Kambale, A.A (2011). A study on breeding behaviour of oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis) in Anjarle andDeobag, Maharashtra. Wildlife Institute of India,Dehradun, India.
Khan, M.M.H. (2013).Population, breeding and threats to the White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis in Bangladesh. Forktail 29: 52–56.
Khatri, P.C. (2013). Home range use of winter migratory vultures in and around Jorbeer, Bikaner (Rajasthan) India.Bioscience Discovery 4(1): 96–99.
Majgaonkar, I., C. G. R. Bowden, & S. Quader (2018). Nesting success and nest-site selection of White-rumped Vultures (Gyps bengalensis) in western Maharashtra, India. Journal of Raptor Research 52(4): 431–442. https://doi.org/10.3356/JRR-17-26.1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3356/JRR-17-26.1
Margalida, A., G. Bogliani, C. Bowden, J.A. Donázar, F. Genero, M. Gilbert, W. Karesh, R.Kock, J. Lubroth, X. Manteca, V. Naidoo, A. Neimanis, J.A. Sánchez-zapata, M. Taggart, J. Vaarten, L.Yon, T. Kuiken, & R.E. Green (2015). One health approach to use of pharmaceuticals. Science 346: 1296–1298. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1260260 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1260260
Moleón, M., J.A. Sánchez-Zapata, A. Margalida, M. Carrete, N. Owen-Smith & J.A. Donázar(2014). Humans and Scavengers: The Evolution of Interactions and Ecosystem Services. BioScience, 64(5): 394–403. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biu034 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biu034
Monadjem A. (2003). Nesting distribution and status of vultures inSwaziland. Vulture News 48: 12–19.
Moran-lopez, R., J.M. Sanchez, E. Costillo, C. Corbacho & A. Villegas (2006). Spatial variation in anthropic and natural factors regulating the breeding successes of the Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus) in the SW Iberian Peninsula. Biological Conservation 130(2): 169–182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2005.12.011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2005.12.011
Mundy, P., D. Butchart, J. Ledger & S. Piper (1992).The vultures of Africa. Academic Press Limited, Kondon, UK460pp.
Naoroji, R. (2006). Birds of Prey of the Indian Subcontinent. Om book international, India, 692pp.
Newton, I. (2002). Population limitation in Holarctic owls, pp. 3–29. In: Newton, I., R. Kavanagh, J. Olsen & I. Taylor (eds.). Ecology and conservation of owls CSIRO Publishing, Colling-wood, Victoria, Australia, 400pp.
Oaks, J.L., M.Gilbert, M.Z. Virani, R.T. Watson, C.U. Meteyer, B.A. Rideout, H.L. Shivaprasad, S. Ahmed, M.J.I. Chaudhry, M. Arshad, S. Mahmood, A. Ali & A.A.Khan (2004). Diclofenac residues as the cause of vulture population decline in Pakistan. Nature 427: 630–633. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02317 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nature02317
Padma, A. (2018). Population, breeding ecology and conservation threats of Long-billed vultures (Gyps indicus) in the Ramadevarabetta Vulture Sanctuary (RVS) in Ramanagara Hills, Karnataka, pp. 63–68. In: Ramakrishnan, B. (ed.) Proceedings of the workshop on “Securing Vulture Population in Southern India (SVPSI 2018). Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India, 138pp.
Pain, D.J., A.A. Cunningham, P.F.Donald, J.W. Duckworth, D.C. Houston, T. Katzner, J.Parry-Jones, C. Poole, V. Prakash, P. Round & R. Timmins (2003).Causes and effects of temporospatial declines of Gyps vultures in Asia. Conservation Biology 17(3): 661–671. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2003.01740.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2003.01740.x
Postupalsky, S. (1974). Raptor reproductive success: some problems with methods, criteria, and terminology, pp. 21–31. In: Hamestrom Jr., F.N., B.E. Harrell & R.R. Olendorff (eds.). Proceedings of the conference on raptor conservation techniques. Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.A.
Prakash V. (1999). Status of vultures in Keoladeo National Park Bharatpur Rajasthan with special reference to population crash in Gyps species. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 3: 365–378.
Prakash, V., D.J.Pain, A.A. Cunningham, P.F. Donald, N. Prakash Verma, R. Gargi, S. Sivakumar & A.R. Ramani (2003). Catastrophic collapse of Indian White-backed (Gyps bengalensis) and Long-billed (Gyps indicus) vultures population. Biological Conservation 109(3): 381–390. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00164-7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3207(02)00164-7
Prakash, V., R.E.Green, D.J.Pain, P. Ranades, S. Saravanan, N.Prakash, A. Venki & A.A. Cunningham (2007). Recent changes in population of resident Gyps vultures in India. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 104: 129–135.
Praveen, J., P.O. Nameer, D. Karuthedathu, C. Ramaiah, B. Balakrishnan, K.M. Rao, S. Shurpali, R. Puttaswamaiah & I. Tavcar (2014). On the vagrancy of the Himalayan Vulture Gyps himalayensis to southern India. Indian Birds 9(1): 19–22.
Rajkumar, D. (2018). Status of Vultures in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, pp. 63–68. In: Ramakrishnan, B. (ed.) Proceedings of the workshop on “Securing Vulture Population in Southern India (SVPSI 2018). Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India, 138pp.
Ramakrishnan, B., G.Kannan, A. Samson, K. Ramkumar & S. Ramasubramaniyan (2014). Nesting of White-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) in the Sigur Plateau of the Nilgiri North Forest Division. Indian Forester 140(10): 1014–1018.
Ramakrishnan, B., S.Ramasubramanian & A. Samson (2012). Occurrence of Red-headed vulture in Sigur Plateau, Tamil Nadu. Current Science 102(6): 832.
Ramakrishnan, B., S. Ramasubramanian, M. Saravanan & C. Arivazhagan (2010). Is diclofenac the only culprit for declining population of Gyps vultures in the Moyar Valley. Current Science 99(12): 1645–1646.
Ramakrishnan, B., A. Samson & A. Veeramani (2018) Conservation strategies for securing Critically Endangered White-rumped (Gyps bengalensis) and Long-billed (Gyps indicus) vulture species in the Tamil Nadu part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, pp. 55-62, In: Ramakrishnan, B. (ed.) Proceedings of the workshop on “Securing Vulture Population in Southern India (SVPSI 2018). Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India, 138pp.
Rabenold, P.P. (1987). Recruitment to food in Black Vultures: evidence for following from communal roosts. AnimalBehavior 35: 1775–1785.
Rode, R.C. (2010). Elephant impact on the large tree component and its potential effect on selected fauna. M.Sc dissertation. University of South Africa, South Africa, 104pp.
Roche, C. (2000). Birds of prey nest survey at Nagala. Journal of Ecology 2: 142–146.
Roche, C. (2006). Breeding records and nest site preference of Hooded Vulture in the greater Kruger National Park. Ostrich 77(1): 99–101. https://doi.org/10.2989/00306520609485515 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2989/00306520609485515
Samson.A., B. Ramakrishnan. S. Renuka. P. Ravi. & S. Ramasubramanian (2014a).Bathing behavior and waterhole importance of white-rumped vulture conservation in the Sigur Plateau, Tamil Nadu, Southern India. Journal of Applied Science and Research 2(5): 92–99.
Samson, A., B. Ramakrishanan, G. Kannan, S Renuka & S. Ramasubramanian (2014b). Emerging threats for Egyptian Vulture (Neophoran percnopterus ginginianus) in the Chamundi Hills Reserved Forest, Mysore, Karnataka. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 50(2): 16–17.
Samson, A., B. Ramakrishnan, A. Veeramani & P. Ravi (2015).Occupation of Indian Giant Squirrel nests by White-rumped Vultures Gyps bengalensis in India. Podoces, 10(2): 35–36.
Samson, A., B. Ramakrishnan & P. Ravi (2016a). Wild boar predation on White-rumped vulture fledgling. Zoos Print XXXI (8): 8.
Samson, A., B. Ramakrishnan, A. Veeramani & P. Ravi (2016b). Population status and habitat preference of vultures in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu southern India .Podoces 11(1): 7–12.
Samson. A., B. Ramakrishnan, B.A. Veeramani & P. Ravi (2016c). Taphonomy perspectives on Tiger (Panthera tigeris) kills and Natural deaths of domestic buffalo Bubalus bubalis (Linnaeus, 1785) with special reference to vultures and others scavenger vertebrates. Journal of Scientific Transactions in Environment and Technovation 10(1): 222–224.
Samson, A. & B. Ramakrishnan (2016). Observation of a population of Egyptian Vultures Neophron percnopterus in Ramanagaram Hills, Karnataka, southern India. Vulture News 71: 36-49. https://doi.org/10.4314/vulnew.v71i1.3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4314/vulnew.v71i1.3
Samson, A. & B. Ramakrishnan (2017a). Letters to the Editor: Accidental death of a feeding vulture. Indian Birds 13(2) :56.
Samson, A. & B. Ramakrishnan (2017b). Scavenging Mode of Vertebrate Scavengers on Domestic Buffalos Bubalus bubalis (Linnaeus, 1785) Killed by Tiger Panthera tigris and Natural Deaths in Southern India. Podoces, 12(1): 22–26.
Samson, A., B. Ramakrishnan P. Arun & P. Ravi (2017). International Vulture Awareness Day celebration at the Nilgiris. Zoo’s Print XXXII (9): 38–39.
Samson, A. & B. Ramakrishnan (2018a). Long-billed vultures: Additional new breeding site of Long-billed vultures (Gyps indicus) in Moyar Valley, Tamil Nadu, Southern India. Bird-o-soar #09. In: Zoo’s Print 33(1): 23–25.
Samson, A. & B. Ramakrishnan (2018b). People’s Perception on Vulture Conservation in Tamil Nadu part of The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Southern India, pp. 106–111. In: Ramakrishnan, B. (ed.) Proceedings of the workshop on “Securing Vulture Population in Southern India (SVPSI 2018). Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India, 138pp.
Samson, A. & B. Ramakrishnan (2018c). Impact of Awareness on Vulture Conservation Amongthe Schools Students in The Sigur Plateau, The Nilgiris, pp. 122–126. In: Ramakrishnan, B. (ed.) Proceedings of the workshop on “Securing Vulture Population in Southern India (SVPSI 2018). Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India, 138pp.
Samson, A., B. Ramakrishnan & R. Ganavel (2018). Is peoples movement affect White-rumped vulture nesting colony. a cause studies for siriyur nesting colony, Nilgiri North Forest Division, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, pp. 120–121. In: Ramakrishnan, B. (ed.) Proceedings of the workshop on “Securing Vulture Population in Southern India (SVPSI 2018). Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India, 138pp.
Samson, A., B. Ramakrishnan, V. Selvan & S. Manigandan (2019). Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Western Ghats, and its status in southern India. Indian BIRDS 15(3): 93–94.
Sebastián-González, E., J.M. Barbosa, J.M. Pérez-García, Z. Morales-Reyes, F. Botella, P.P. Olea, P. Mateo-Tomás, M. Moleón, F. Hiraldo, E. Arrondo, J.A. Donázar, A. Cortés-Avizanda, N. Selva, S.A. Lambertucci, A. Bhattacharjee, A. Brewer, J.D. Anadón, E. Abernethy, O.E. Jr Rhodes, K. Turner, J.C. Beasley, T.L. DeVault, A. Ordiz, C. Wikenros, B. Zimmermann, P. Wabakken, C.C. Wilmers, J.A. Smith, C.J. Kendall, D. Ogada, E.R. Buechley, E. Frehner, M.L. Allen, H.U. Wittmer, J.R.A. Butler,J.T. du Toit, J. Read, D. Wilson, K. Jerina, M. Krofel, R. Kostecke, R. Inger, A. Samson, L. Naves-Alegre & J.A. Sánchez-Zapata. (2019). Scavenging in the Anthropocene: Human impact drives vertebrate scavenger species richness at a global scale. Global Change Biology 25(9): 3005–3017. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14708 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14708
Sashikumar , C. (2001). Vultures in Kerala. Newsletter for Birdwatchers. 41: 10–15.
Sashikumar, C. & C.K. Vishnudas (2018) Status of Vultures in Kerala. Securing Vulture Population in Southern India, pp. 114–118. In: Ramakrishnan, B. (ed.). Proceedings of the workshop conducted from 8th to 10th, January, 2018 at Udhagamandalam, The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India, 138pp.
Subramanya, S. & O.C. Naveein ( 2006). Breeding of Long-billed vulture Gyps indicus at Ramnagaram hills, Karnataka, India. Indian Birds 2(2): 32–34.
Subedi, T.R. & R. de Candido (2013). Population and breeding success of red-headed vulture Sarcogyps calvus and Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus in central west Nepal. Vulture News 67(10): 21–32. https://doi.org/10.4314/vulnew.v67i2.2 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4314/vulnew.v67i2.2
Thakur, M.L. (2015). Breeding Ecology and Distribution of White-rumped Vultures (Gyps bengalensis) in Himachal Pradesh, India. Journal of Raptor Research 49(2): 183–191. https://doi.org/10.3356/rapt-49-02-183-191.1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3356/rapt-49-02-183-191.1
Thakur, M.L. & S.K. Narang (2012).Population status and habitat-use pattern of Indian White-backed Vulture (Gyps bengalensis) in Himachal Pradesh, India. Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment 4(7): 173–180. https://doi.org/10.5897/JENE11.103 DOI: https://doi.org/10.5897/JENE11.103
Thejaswi, S. (2004). A sight record of the Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus near Mysore, Karnataka, India. Newsletter for Ornithologists Vol. 1 No. 5: 74.
Thompson, W.L., R.H. Yahner & G.L. Storm (1990). Winter use and habitat characteristics of vulture communal roosts. Journal of Wildlife Management 54(1): 77–83.
Wright, A., R. Yahner & G.L. Storm (1986). Roost-tree characteristics and abundance of wintering vultures at a communal roost in south central Pennsylvania. Journal of Raptor Research 20(3/4): 102–107.
Xirouchakis S.M. & M. Mylonas M (2005). Selection of breeding cliffs by Griffon Vultures Gyps fulvusin Crete (Greece). Acta Ornithologica 40(2): 155–161. https://doi.org/10.3161/068.040.0211 DOI: https://doi.org/10.3161/068.040.0211