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Ensuring safe flight for the endangered vultures

                                                                                                                                      The Hindu, Dehradun, 28th January, 2015


KAVITA UPADHYAY

Construction of electric transmission line between Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) was a threat to the endangered vultures in the Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, a survey said.

Electrocution by high tension transmission lines remains one of the reasons behind bird deaths across the country.

Vultures across the country are on an exponential decline. When a vulture breeding site was traced in Madhya Pradesh’s Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary during a recent survey, efforts were initiated to make trade-offs between development and wildlife conservation for the cause of the endangered bird.

Birds accidently interact with the high tension transmission lines, and electrocution by such lines remains one of the reasons behind bird deaths across the country.

Recently, while surveying the sanctuary, the teams from the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) traced a nesting and breeding site of vultures in the project premises.

Construction of electric transmission line between Jaipur (Rajasthan) and Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh) was a threat to the endangered vultures in the sanctuary, through which the high tension lines would pass.

“Vultures, today, are declining exponentially. When we found an important breeding site of vultures at the sanctuary we formed our recommendations that needed to be discussed with the Power Grid to save the bird,” V. B. Mathur, Director of WII, said to The Hindu.

On the directions of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) the final recommendations for the construction of the Power Grid Corporation of India (Power Grid) project at the sanctuary site were finalised in a recently held meeting between the Power Grid and the WII in New Delhi.

“To provide a safe take off and landing on the cliff, and to reduce disturbance to the vultures, it was decided [in the meeting] that the transmission lines be realigned and must be away from the vulture nest sites by 225 to 275 metres,” Dr. Mathur said.

On the directions of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), during the meeting, recommendations were also finalised on the restoration and conservation of the endangered Great Indian Bustard in the sanctuary.

“We recommended that the bird flight diverters be used on conductors and the earth wires to enhance visibility for the birds and hence reduce chances of collision with the high tension transmission lines,” Dr. Mathur said.

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/ensuring-safe-flight-for-the-endangered-vultures/article6830903.ece