SUBJECT :To conserve and revive the fast-dwindling population of rare long-billed vultures, the state forest department is all set to have a dedicated vulture breeding centre at the foothills of the science Ramadevara Betta in Ramanagara taluk, about 50km from Bengaluru. 

Karnataka, January 18, 2020: To conserve and revive the fast-dwindling population of rare long-billed vultures, the state forest department is all set to have a dedicated vulture breeding centre at the foothills of the science Ramadevara Betta in Ramanagara taluk, about 50km from Bengaluru. The centre will be the second such facility in South India after the one in Hyderbad.

Ramadevara Betta region was declared the country’s first vulture sanctuary in 2012. As per the latest count, the sanctuary spread over 346 hectares hosts only five long-billed vultures, considered critically endangered globally. The breeding centre is expected to save the species from going extinct in the region.

On the sideline of the inaugural of Karnataka Bird Festival, Sanjay Mohan, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), told TOI the facility would come up at a cost of Rs 1.3 crore  for which central government approvals came recently. “ We will be getting vulture eggs from Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre in Haryana. Before being released into their habitat, the hatchings will be nutured for two to three years,” he added.

Protection Zone for GIBs

The forest department is set to declare about 1,200 acres of forest area in Siruguppa of Ballari district as protection zone for the Great Indian Bustard (GIB), another bird on the verge of extinction.

Mohan said there are about eight GIBs in the region and the deaprtemnt will be restricting certain activities there to ensure protection to the bird habitat.

Sixth bird festival kicks off

The sixth edition of Karnataka Bird Festival Kicked off the foot of Nandi Hills on Friday. It aims to sensitise the public about bird diversity and conservation. This year’s edition has a special focus on conserving vultures.

Inaugurating the festival, forest minister CC Patil said Karnataka is home to 550 of the 1,350 bird species in the country. Chikkaballapura MLA K Sudhakar said Nandi Hills range is home to 200 varities of birds and listed among major bird habitats in India.

Vijay Mohan said Nandi Hills is also home to the yellow-throated bulbul, an endangered species. “ Nilgiri wood pigeon, found in the Western Ghats has made Nandi Hills its home and this highlight the ecological importance of this hilly region, “ he added.

The three-day festival has sessions on bird diversity, conservation and challenges. Participants can go for bird-watching tour in and around Nandi Hills.


Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com