Himalayan griffon vulture

The Himalayan griffon vulture (Binomial name-Gyps himalayensis) or the Himalayan vulture is a traditional vulture native to higher altitude regions of the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau.

Key Points for UPSC Prelims

  • Himalayan griffon vulture is the heaviest as well as the largest bird which is found in the Himalayas.
  • Unlike the smaller griffon vulture, the wing and tail feathers of this species are dark and contrast with the pale coverts and body.
  • Himalayan griffon vulture weighs between 8kg to 12 kg. They are huge vultures who have long wings, feathered ruff, and a short tail.
  • They are distributed from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan to India, Bhutan, Nepal to Mongolia, and western China.
  • Himalayan vultures are susceptible to toxicity induced by ‘Diclofenac’, a drug whose residues in domestic animal carcasses have caused rapid declines in populations of other vultures.
  • It has also been listed as ‘Near Threatened’ on the IUCN Red List

Himalayan Griffon Vulture Spotted after 12 years

The Himalayan griffon vulture has been spotted in Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu after a gap of 12 years.

As per the forest department, the vulture was last spotted in the central region in the year 1964. However, as per the Founder Director of the Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, the Himalayan griffon vulture was last seen in the year 2008 at Point Calimere.

As per the researchers, the migration of the vulture is very unique as it has come down from higher altitudes to sea areas.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

It is an international organization that works for the conservation of nature as well as to promote sustainable use of natural resources. Established in the year 1948, the organization also maintains and publishes the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The organization started publishing the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species from the year 1964. At present IUCN Red List includes more than 35,500 species.

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