Vultures are scavenging birds, feeding mostly on the carcasses of dead animals. They play important role in maintain clean environment through rapid consumption of animal carcasses and human dead in the form of sky burials within Nepal, Tibet and India. They have bare heads to prevent the feathers from becoming dirty while feeding. Their long broad wings are efficient for long distance soaring. Nepal is exceptionally rich in vulture. There are 23 species of vulture in the world nine species have been recorded in Nepal. Among nine species six are resident breeders – Himalayan, Bearded, White – rumped, slender – billed, Egyptian and Red – headed vulture. The other three species – Long – billed, Griffon and Cinereous vulture are seasonal and passage migrant in small numbers.
Vultures in Nepal faced many threats .The cause of declines as been shown to have been caused by the veterinary drug diclofenac which use to treat livestock in Asia. Food shortage also major threats due to change in carcass disposal practises. Until past few decades bones and hide from slaughterhouses and dead carcasses were disposed in open field near the village sites. The lands are now days develop for real estate. That slaughter houses now bury dead livestock.
Destruction of habitats is another threat particularly roosting and nesting habitats. White – rumped, slender – billed and Red – headed vultures built nest mostly on Kapok trees.The Kapok trees felled by local people because they did not like vultures in their homesteads. Human disturbance and wild fire disturb nesting holes after the fire burn the grasses on the cliffs. This incident occurs during the breeding season of Himalayan, Bearded and Egyptian vultures which nest only rocky cliffs.
For the vulture tour in Nepal winter is the best season and can see almost seven to eight species in four days and three night package from Kathmandu.
|Duration||Vulture Tour 03 Night 04 days|
|Location||Pokhara valley and surrounding area|
|When to Visit||November to March|