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<< JRScience Home   Volume 12 No.1 June 2001 << Back to Volume Home

A SURVEY OF THE ORIENTAL WHITE-BACKED VULTURE GYPS BENGALENSIS IN THE PUNJAB PROVINCE, PAKISTAN

 Aleem A. Khan1, Munir Z. Virani2, J. Lindsay Oaks3, Patrick C. Benson4, Martin Gilbert2, Rick T. Watson2 and Robert W. Risebrough5

1Zoology Division, Institute of Pure & Applied Biology, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan. 2The Peregrine Fund, 566 West Flying Hawk Lane, Boise, ID 83709, USA. 3Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA  99164-7040, USA. 4Department of Zoology, University of Witwatersrand, 1 Jan Smut Ave., Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa. 5The Bodega Bay Institute, 2711 Piedmont Avenue, Berkeley CA, 94705 USA.

 Abstract:

 During bird survey in Pakistan, a distance of 1809 kilometers was covered in the Punjab province between August 16-29, 2000. A total of 1366 Oriental White-backed Vultures WBV (0.76 WBV/Km) was estimated from the study area. Out of a total of 175 WBV observed at close quarters for head drooping behaviour (from 7 different sites), the overall proportion of droopers to non-droopers was 16.6%, (which is similar to what observed in Nepal and West Bengal, India). The proportion of drooping birds to non-drooping birds was significantly higher at sites in Pakistan close to the Indian border near Rajasthan than those further away from the Rajasthan border. Similarly, more deaths were reported at sites closer to the Rajasthan border than those further inland towards the Indus River.

Keywords: Oriental White-backed Vulture, Gyps bengalensis, Punjab, Pakistan drooping behaviour,