Every year, after the cliffs in Gadichiroli range in Maharashtra are completely occupied by the existing vulture population in the region, the spillover vultures migrate to Palarapu Gutta, a cliff in Penchikalpet forest range at Bejjur in Kumaram Bheem Asifabad district, to build new nests, lay eggs and bring up their chicks.
While this annual phenomenon usually happens in the winter months, officials said this has been delayed this year.
Asifabad district forest officer S Shantaram said the delay in nesting was due to untimely rains in the region this year. “However, we are constantly tracking their movement and have observed that they are currently hovering in and around Palarapu Gutta, conducting a recce of the nesting sites. Once, they figure out that there is no place left to build nests in Gadchiroli, they will migrate to Palarapu Gutta” he said.
The DFO said some villagers have also seen the birds perching atop the Palarapu Gutta cliff and then flying back. He said the distance between both the nesting sites is about 50 km and there is no other place more suitable between both these places other than Palagrapu Gutta for these long-billed vultures to build their nests.
“Another reason we think that these birds will start migrating to Telangana by next month is because we have observed that there is no decline in population of these birds in the last few years. Also, since summer is at its peak, the spillover population will eventually need shelter and they will start migrating once the nesting sites in Maharashtra are completely occupied,” said Shantaram.
Every year, these vultures go back to Maharashtra after they lay eggs and raise their chicks in Telangana.