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Moyar Valley & Gyps Vulture Conservation



  Mar 23, 2024

Moyar Valley Conservation: Saving Gyps Vultures



1. Why is Moyar Valley important for wildlife conservation?

Moyar Valley is a vital ecosystem within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, providing habitat for numerous species, including tigers, elephants, and the critically endangered Gyps vulture. It is particularly noted for hosting the largest nesting colony of Gyps vultures in peninsular India, making it a significant site for biodiversity conservation.

2. What makes the Gyps vulture critically endangered?

The Gyps vulture population has drastically declined due to several factors, most notably the use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) in livestock, which are toxic to vultures that feed on the carcasses of treated animals. Habitat loss and poisoning are additional threats that contribute to their endangered status.

3. How does Moyar Valley support the Gyps vulture population?

The valley’s ecosystem offers a stable food chain for these scavengers, with abundant wild kills and natural deaths of wildlife that are mostly free from harmful chemicals like NSAIDs. This clean food source, coupled with minimal human disturbances, makes Moyar Valley an ideal habitat for Gyps vultures.

4. What are the recent trends in the Gyps vulture population in Moyar Valley?

Recent surveys, such as the Synchronised Vulture Survey 2024, have shown an increase in the population of various Gyps vulture species within the valley. This positive trend indicates the effectiveness of conservation efforts and the valley’s significance as a sanctuary for these birds.

5. What conservation measures are needed to protect the Gyps vulture in Moyar Valley?

Conservation efforts should include:

• Ensuring vultures have access to natural carcasses free from harmful chemicals.
• Removing invasive plant species like Prosopis and Lantana to restore the native ecosystem.
• Regular monitoring of nest sites and population surveys to track conservation progress.
• Engaging local communities in conservation efforts and minimizing human-wildlife conflicts.


6. How can the public contribute to the conservation of Gyps vultures?

The public can support conservation efforts by:

• Raising awareness about the plight of Gyps vultures and the importance of biodiversity conservation.
• Supporting NGOs and conservation programs dedicated to wildlife protection.
• Advocating for policies that minimize the use of harmful chemicals like NSAIDs in livestock.


7. Are there any success stories in Gyps vulture conservation?

While the global population of Gyps vultures has suffered significant declines, conservation initiatives, such as breeding programs and the ban on certain NSAIDs, have started to show positive impacts on their numbers in some areas. Continued support and effective conservation strategies are critical for the recovery of Gyps vultures globally.



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