Journal Article
2018
Nesting success and nest-site selection of White-rumped Vultures (Gyps bengalensis) in western Maharashtra, India
Iravatee Majgaonkar, Christopher G. R. Bowden, Suhel Quader
Journal of Raptor Research 52 (4): 431-442
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A few breeding populations of White-rumped Vultures (Gyps bengalensis) still survive in pockets of their original vast range in India, having weathered a diclofenac-induced population decline of 99.9% since the early 1990s. These breeding populations are potential sources of recruits, now that the overall population appears to be stabilizing or even recovering in some areas. We studied two White-rumped Vulture nesting colonies in the Raigad district of coastal Maharashtra in 2013–2014, to investigate site- specific nesting success and nest-site selection. Our overall aim was to better understand the capability of these remnant populations to contribute to the stability of vulture populations at a landscape scale. We found that vultures preferred to nest in taller trees. Nest failure was high before hatching but declined thereafter. Overall nesting outcome was unrelated to the distance of the nest from areas of disturbance, but may have been influenced by characteristics of nest trees. The percentage of successful nests was higher in the smaller colony, suggesting that colony size may not be the only best criterion for targeting conservation efforts.

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