Rare Egyptian vultures sighted in Ganjam

Berhampur: It’s good news for the wildlife lovers of Odisha. Rare Egyptian vultures have been sighted in Golanthara area in Ganjam district.

Exclusive pictures of these rare species of birds on the verge of extinction have been snapped by well-known ornithologist Dr Jyoti Prakash Patnaik.

A number of baby vultures have also been sighted in this area, which suggests that the number of these species is on the rise in Ganjam district, Dr Patnaik told our correspondent.

Prior to this, Patnaik had also sighted these birds in Bhetanai area in the district in March this year.

Sighting of these birds in a relatively large number reveals that these species have found a conducive habitat in Ganjam, Patnaik said.

Also called the white scavenger vulture or Pharaoh’s Chicken, these vultures are widely distributed and mostly found in south-western Europe, northern Africa and India. They breed in temperate regions and migrate to the south during winter.

These vultures feed mainly on carrion but occasionally prey on small mammals, birds and reptiles. They also feed on the eggs of other birds.

However, the population of these birds has started declining alarmingly from 20th century due to rampant poaching, accidental poisoning and contact with high tension power lines, experts say.