Vulture Believed Dead
Cinerous Vulture released from northern Thailand on the 10th May
2007 is believed dead after Dr Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua received a
photo of the leg band and radio transmitter that had been fixed
to the bird.
Just three weeks
after its release in May the monitoring team lost contact with the
bird and in July a soldier from the Shan State Army in Myanmar sent
an e-mail to Dr Kasorndorkbua to tell him that a villager had shot
the bird dead - this was followed up with the photos of the radio
transmitter and leg band.
This fate, unfortunately,
was all too predictable as many large bird species have been reduced
to near extinction through hunting in Southeast Asia. The release
site in northern Thailand was always considered risky for these
reasons and was a last resort when the governments of South Korea
and China refused permission for the bird to be transported through
their countries fearing a risk from bird flu, despite veterinary
reports stating that it was clear of the disease.
tragic ending to this story, both the Thai
Raptor Group and Bird Conservation
Society of Thailand remain upbeat about the rescue program saying
that it did much to raise the profile of the plight of vultures
Upton, 22nd February 2007 based on information from International
Released from Northern Thailand
of problems with a short transfer in South Korea, the Cinereous Vulture
was released, along with 4 Himalyan Griffon Vultures, on the 10th
May on a mountain along the Thailand-Myanmar border, in Chiang Mai
Vulture with wing tag and satelitte telemetry unit.
(Photo by Thai
the vultures have a yellow-coloured wing tag. The Cinereous Vulture
is tagged with V1 label on its right wing as well as a satellite telemetry
unit. The Himalayan Griffons are tagged with V4, V5, V6 marks and
V7 mark on their left wings.
Griffons and Immature Cinereous Vultures sunning themsleves.
(Photo by Thai
Kasorndorkbua of the Thai Raptor Group and Kasetsart University's
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine would like to urge birders who may,
in future, visit China, Tibet, Mongolia or other countries of the
far East and Oriental region to be aware of these wing-tagged vultures;
sightings of the released vultures would be most gratefully received.
Please submit sightings of any of them with the number of wing tag
(if visible) to fvetchk(at)ku.ac.th or trogon(at)gmail.com.
of the vultures, their rehabilitation facilities and release can
be seen on the Thai
Raptor Group's forum.
about the release can be seen here,
and here, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7563781591723863024
operation is part of Fly the Vulture Home Project, which is the
cooperation of Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (BCST), Department
of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Kasetsart University's
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Mongolia's Wildlife Science and
Conservation Center and Thai Raptor Group. Singha Corporation (Boonrawd
Brewery Co.Ltd.) provided the finance for the satellite telemetry,
Thai Airways provided air travel for a Mongolian vulture expert,
the Royal Thai Air Force provided air travel of the vultures to
the release site and the people of Thailand generously donated to
information posted by Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua on the Thai
Raptor Group website.
Rehabilitation and Release Project
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kasetsart University
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus was found exhausted
in Chantaburi province, South-east Thailand, and was initially
cared for by Miss Iola Veal. On 3rd January, 2007, Miss Veal
contacted Mr. Peter Ericsson, a Swedish birder, in order to
arrange for professional assistance in caring for the vulture.
Dr. Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,
Kasetsart University was contacted and on 5th January it was
relocated to be under veterinary care by the faculty’s
avian veterinarian team in Kasetsart University Wild Bird
(a juvenile) was determined to be free of any major ailments,
other than suffering from emaciation and is currently gaining
weight and attempting to fly.
as a result of the efforts of the "Fly the Vulture Home
Fund" comprising Bird Conservation Society of Thailand,
Kasetsart University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Thai
Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association and Thai Raptor
Group who are working to prepare the bird for release into
is hoped that the bird can be released in Mongolia where it will
be able to associate with others of its species. If financial support
cannot be raised for release in Mongolia, it is proposed to release
the bird from Doi Lang, Chiang Mai province, in northern Thailand.
The story of
this bird has created a considerable amount of public interest in
Thailand and the name "Anakin Skywalker" has affectionately
been given to this individual. It is hoped that the publicity generated
by this bird can be used to go some way towards changing the negative
view that people in the region have of large birds such as vultures.
Upton, 28th March, 2007. Compiled from "Fly
the Vulture Home: Rehabilitation and Release Program for a Cinereous
Vulture in Thailand"