Representational Image I Photo: Naseer NA
Sulthan Bathery: Raptor survey was conducted in the forests of Wayanad. Wayanad is the only habitat of the endangered vultures in south India. 227 species including 3 varieties of vultures, 27 eagles and 9 owls were found from here.
White-rumped vultures, red-headed vultures and Indian vultures were spotted in Wayanad. The forest officials informed that the listing of the number of vultures from the data collected by the surveyors are under progress. The survey had been carried out in 3 days at the forest divisions of north and south Wayanad apart from the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
Amid the survey, the team spotted 38 white-rumped vultures and 3 red-headed vultures devouring the carcass of a deer at Kakkapadam in Muthanga. The sightings of birds like Jerdon’s baza, Eurasian sparrow hawk, Legge’s hawk eagle. Oriental honey buzzard, booted eagle, crested-hawk eagle, crested-goshawk, Shaheen falcon, greater- spotted eagle and many more raptors stirred up the survey.
The survey led by the Kerala Forest Department was organised with the assistance of Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) in Peechi, College of Forestry in Thrissur and Centre for Wildlife Studies in Pookode. Students from Kozhikode Feroke college and Govt Arts and Science college, Meenchanda also participated in the survey. Over 80 birdwatchers across the state carried out the survey after dividing the team into 24 camps. The team was led by Wayanad wildlife sanctuary warden S Narendra Babu and Bathery assistant wildlife warden S Ranjith Kumar.