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02 January, 2017

Wintering Raptors Survey in Lowlands of Nepal

Four species of vultures (White-rumped, Himalayan, Cinereous and Griffon) recorded during wintering raptor survey. White-rumped is a resident and others are winter visitors in lowland of Nepal. Himalayan Vulture is an altitudinal migrant breeds in Himalayas and highlands of Nepal, Cinereous and Griffon are the long distance migrant some spend winter in Nepal. Photo: Sandesh Gurung  

Dear Colleagues, I hope all of you had a wonderful start of New Year.


In Nepal a team from Himalayan Nature and Raptors of Nepal has recently completed a wintering raptor survey in the lowland areas (East to West). The aim of this survey was to document the baseline data on the wintering and residential raptor species. The survey was started from 11th of December and completed on 25th December using jeep drive with the average speed of 40 km/hr between 9:00 to 16:00 hrs. Besides the east west highway we covered other important routes/sections that are more than 20 km length.

The results of the survey is encouraging and wrapped up with the sightings of 1044 individuals of 31 species. Among them 19 species were complete migrant, 4 species partial migrant and 8 species residential. The number of vultures should be the concern for all and we have recorded White-rumped Vulture (152), Himalayan Vulture (294) and few individuals of Griffon Vulture (15), Cinereous Vulture (17), Red-headed Vulture (1) and Egyptian Vulture (3). We are more interested on Himalayan Vulture because it is believed the population of this mega species is declining. Annual count of juveniles of this species in the wintering area will tell us the population trend in the future. Thank you very much for Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for providing the financial support to conduct this study.