'The rest may have flown to other parts of the country'
Forest and conservation officials have rescued a migratory vulture, which is categorized as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, from Tirnoihat union of Tetulia upazila in Panchagarh.
The bird, of a species called Himalayan Griffon vulture, weighing nearly 8kg, was rescued on Wednesday, said IUCN Bangladesh Senior Program Officer ABM Sarowar Alam.
The vulture, the first one to be rescued this winter, was later transferred to a rescue centre jointly run by the Forest Department and the IUCN, in Singra forest of Dinajpur.
It was part of a flock of vultures that likely arrived in Bangladesh on that day. But this particular vulture was rescued from Fakirhat in Tirnoihat union after locals spotted it and informed the authorities.
“The rest may have flown to other parts of the country,” Sarowar said, urging for information to be provided if traced.
“Please let the IUCN or the Forest Department know if the rest of the vultures are seen and help in the conservation of the near threatened species, which can only be done through assistance from all,” he furthered.
Sarowar said: “On an average, 50 migratory vultures fly to northern districts including Panchagarh, Nilphamari, and Gaibandha every winter after their miles-long journey all the way from the Himalayan region. They come here exhausted or sick following the long migration and scarcity of food. Of them, 20-25 vultures are usually released after primary treatment,” he said.
The rest are given proper treatment and rehabilitated for two and half months and then released after they have gained four to five kilograms, the IUCN official said.
“The treated vultures are then freed with wing tagging on their legs,” he said.
Wing tagging is the attachment of a small, individually numbered metal or plastic tag to the leg or wing of a wild bird which helps its individual identification.
The IUCN, Sarowar said, has been putting the tags on the species for the last four years.