Updated: July 29th, 2019, 21:38 IST
BHUBANESWAR: Vultures, once part of popular Odia culture, have become almost extinct from the face of the capital city and even from the state. Not really known for their aesthetics or hunting skills, vultures are knows as nature’s best scavengers. However, these birds along with a few other species, have gradually been pushed from the category of endangered to extinct due to rapid urbanization and loss of green habitat.
“There are three species of vultures found in India, Odisha has two of them. The first is black or king vulture, this specie is almost extinct everywhere in the country. The second is white-backed Bengal vulture which is known ‘Gidha’ or ‘Saguna’ in Odia. About 50 years ago these were found aplenty in Odisha, especially in rural areas. The third one is White Scavenger, also known as Pariah Kite. Unlike other vultures, this particular type feeds on other smaller birds and rodents,” explained Rabindra Samal, an ornithologist, here.
A report by Bird Life International a decade ago stated that about 14 out of 52 near threatened bird species listed for India are in Odisha. Among the critically endangered types, Oriental White-backed Vulture and Long-Billed Vulture topped the list. The data was recorded on their presence in Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Sambalpur, North and South of Mahanadi and in Simlipal National Park.