Captive Breeding Breakthrough: Himalayan Vulture Successfully Bred at Assam State Zoo

Himalayan Vulture Successfully Bred at Assam State Zoo

In a remarkable achievement for wildlife conservation, the Assam State Zoo in Guwahati, Assam, recorded the successful captive breeding of a Himalayan Vulture. This significant milestone, documented in the paper titled ‘Breeding of Himalayan Vulture Gyps himalayensis Hume, 1869 in the Assam State Zoo, Guwahati, Assam,’ offers hope for the conservation of this ‘Near Threatened’ species with an estimated population of 66,000.

Conservation Efforts for Himalayan Vulture

On March 14, 2022, the Assam State Zoo achieved the groundbreaking captive breeding of Himalayan Vultures, which are native to the high Himalayas. These vultures were rescued from various poisoning and accident incidents between 2011 and 2012. Creating a suitable environment and acclimating the vultures to the zoo’s tropical conditions were vital steps in their successful breeding.

Challenges and Significance

Breeding the Himalayan Vulture in Guwahati posed challenges, as the species typically breeds in snow-clad mountains. However, with careful care and artificial brooding facilities, the vultures adapted to their new environment. The Assam State Zoo’s achievement is only the second instance in the world, following France, where Himalayan Vultures have been bred in captivity. This accomplishment underscores the crucial role of zoos and breeding centers in conserving endangered species like vultures.

Conservation Efforts for Vulture Population

Vulture populations have faced severe declines, leading to ‘Critically Endangered’ status for three resident Gyps vulture species. To bolster their numbers, conservation breeding centers, including the Vulture Conservation Breeding Center at Rani, Assam, play a vital role. The release of White-rumped vultures into the wild from the VCBC in Haryana and West Bengal is being closely monitored by researchers and conservationists using transmitters. This tracking allows for the observation of vultures’ movements and behaviors, providing valuable insights for conservation strategies. These comprehensive efforts exemplify the dedication to protect and revive vulture populations, ensuring a sustainable future for these magnificent birds.


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