(Last Updated on : 10/09/2015)
Slender-Billed Vulture is one of the oldest species of vulture in India; along with a scientific name "Gyps tenuirostris
" is a recently recognized species of Old World vulture.
Structure of Slender-Billed Vulture
Slender-Billed Vulture is an Indian species at about 80 to 95 cm in length. This mid-sized vulture is about the same size as its sister species, the Indian vulture. Slender-billed vulture is mostly grey with a pale rump and grey under tail coverts. The thighs have whitish down. The neck of Slender-billed vulture is long, bare, skinny and black. The black head is angular and narrow with the dark bill appearing narrow midway. The ear opening of Slender-billed vulture is prominent and exposed.
Concentration of Slender-Billed Vulture
Slender-Billed Vulture is found in India from the Gangetic plain north, west to Himachal Pradesh
, south potentially as far as northern Odisha, and east through Assam
. Slender-billed vulture is also found in North and Central Bangladesh, southern Nepal, Myanmar and Cambodia.
Population of Slender-Billed Vulture
Slender-Billed Vulture has suffered a marked decline in its numbers in recent years. Wild populations remain from northern and eastern India through southern Nepal and Bangladesh, with a small population in Burma.
The only breeding colony in Southeast Asia is in the Steung Treng province of Cambodia. This colony is thought to number about 50-100 birds. The survival of the vultures in Cambodia may have been partly because diclofenac, which is poisonous to vultures, is not available there.The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has placed the approximate number of slender-billed vultures living beyond confines at about 1,000 in 2009 and predictions estimate total extinction within the next decade amongst the wild population.
Captive Breeding of Slender-Billed Vulture
Captive-Breeding programs in India are aiming to conserve the species, and it is hoped that vultures can be released back in the wild when the environment is free of diclofenac. Joint efforts between the RSPB and the Zoological Society of London resulted in the first successful captive breeding in 2009.Two slender-billed vultures hatched and are being independently cared for in Haryana
and West Bengal