Indian White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis) - Wiki
Indian White-rumped Vulture
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[Photo] Bengalgeier (Gyps bengalensis). Source http://www.tiermotive.de/ Date 26.10.2003. Author Petra Karstedt
Common names: Indian White-rumped Vulture, Indian White-backed Vulture, Asian White-backed Vulture, Oriental White-backed Vulture
The Indian White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis) is an Old World vulture in the family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, kites, buzzards and hawks. It is closely related to the European Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus).
It breeds on crags or in trees in northern and central India, Pakistan and southeast Asia, laying one egg. Birds may form loose colonies. The population is mostly resident.
Like other vultures it is a scavenger, feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals which it finds by soaring over savannah and around human habitation. It often moves in flocks.
The White-rumped Vulture is a typical vulture, with a bald head, very broad wings and short tail. It is much smaller than European Griffon. It has a white neck ruff. The adult’s whitish back, rump and underwing coverts contrast with the otherwise dark plumage. Juveniles are largely dark.
This vulture and Long-billed Vulture (Gyps indicus) have suffered a 99 percent decrease in India due to poisoning by the veterinary drug Diclofenac that causes kidney failure in birds eating the carcasses of treated cattle. Meloxicam (another NSAID) has been found to be harmless to vultures and should prove to be an acceptable substitute. In March 2006 diclofenac is still being used for animals throughout India and the changes in Indian legislation are awaited. It is hoped that meloxicam will be as cheep as diclofenac when it is mass produced.
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