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BIR SHIKARGAH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY and ORIENTAL WHITE BACKED VULTURES

BIR SHIKARGAH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY and ORIENTAL WHITE BACKED VULTURES

Context:

In October 2020, 8 critically endangered Oriental white-backed vultures had been launched into the wild for the primary time in India from the Jatayu Conservation and Breeding Centre (JCBC) located on the Bir Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuary. A 12 months later, they’ve blended well into the untamed habitat outdoors the aviary, giving hope to conservationists.

Key Highlights:

  • The Oriental white-backed vultures that were released are resident birds and not migratory, so they mostly stay within a radius of 50-100 km of the breeding centre.
  • Around 378 vultures of 3 species are housed at the centre, of which 131 are Oriental white-backed vultures, 195 are Long-billed vultures, and 52 are Slender-billed vultures.
  • The “founder stock” of birds at the centre was collected from various States, including Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra, to maintain genetic diversity.

Bir Shikargah Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • It is located in the Panchkula district of Haryana.
  • It is spread over an area of 767.30 hectares and also houses the Vulture Conservation and Breeding Centre, Pinjore.
  • In 2009, the Government of India declared it an Eco-sensitive Zone (ESZ), because of which development will not be allowed within a 5 kilometres radius.

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