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300 Egyptian vultures spotted in Banaskantha

Palanpur: There is good news for bird lovers of Banaskantha as more than 300 Egyptian vultureswere spotted in the district on Tuesday. These birds were rarely spotted in the last several years in the area.

"Even the 
Birds Conservation Society of Gujarat(BCSG) has not mentioned such a big colony of vultures in the last several editions of their journal 'Vihangam," an executive member of BCSG and a teacher at RR Mehta Science College Suresh Prajapati said.

He added, "The most encouraging indication is the presence of newborn babies and an army of little ones which is solid evidence that the birds have settled in the region, making the place their habitat."

Attributing the phenomena to a ban on the use of diclofenac chemicals on carcasses, he said the use of chemical in the past had poisonous effects on vultures that survived on the flesh of dead animals. "The presence of such a large number of Egyptian vultures has revived a ray of hope for breeding of this rare and critically endangered species," a physician and bird watcher Dr Mayank Shah said.

"I had never before spotted such a great number of vultures. There were 47 of them on a single tree. Actually it was a big colony. My friends were not ready to believe me till I showed them photographs," he said.

The Times of India (07-01-2014)