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Crossing Mt Everest, tagged Himalayan vulture enters China

Updated on: 14 April,2022 08:18 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ranjeet Jadhav |

Tagged in February at Panna Tiger Reserve; currently, the vulture is near Shigatse city in the Tibetan region of China; the journey still continues

Crossing Mt Everest, tagged Himalayan vulture enters China

Himalayan Griffon HG_8673 was tagged in February at Panna Tiger Reserve by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) team and MP forest department

The satellite tagging of Himalayan Griffon vultures at the neighbouring Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh has brought to light some fascinating facts. One Himalayan Griffon HG_8673, tagged during February, has entered China, crossing the Mount Everest region through Sagarmatha National Park in the Himalayas. Taking to mid-day Uttam Kumar Sharma, director, Panna National Park (PNP) said, “One Himalayan Griffon HG_8673, tagged in February at Panna Tiger Reserve by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) team and MP forest department, has entered China crossing Mt Everest region through Sagarmatha NP in the Himalayas. Currently, it is near Shigatse City in the Tibetan region of China. It completed this journey in around 60 days travelling over 7,500 km with multiple stopovers and the journey still continues.”

Sharma further added that one more tagged Himalayan Griffon HG_8677 has entered Nepal and is near Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve in Nepal. The Panna Tiger Reserve along with the scientist from WII have tagged a total of 25 vultures, including 13 Indian vultures, 8 Himalayan Griffon vultures, 2 King vultures and 2 Eurasian Griffon vultures. The solar power GPS tags, manufactured in Germany, weighing between 25 g to 75 g, were fitted on the birds. This scientific study will help the experts working on the conservation of vultures get crucial data about their movement and daily activity pattern. Vulture tagging aims to know the migratory pattern and travel path of vultures.

According to, the Himalayan vulture, also called Himalayan griffon, belongs to the same family as eagles, kites, hawks and buzzards. The European griffon vulture is a close relative. A Himalayan vulture is the second largest of the ‘Old World’ vultures, after the cinereous vulture. It has a bald white head, wide wings, short tail feathers, white ruff and a yellow bill. Its lifespan is unknown, but vultures live an average 20-35 years.

The bird is mostly found in India, Nepal and Bhutan, central China and Mongolia and some parts of Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. It occasionally migrates to northern India. Foraging can be at elevations of 5,000 m or more. Non-breeding migrants including juvenile birds usually spend the winter near the southern tip of their range, in the lowland plains just to the south of the Himalayas. Most of the plateau landscape consists of meadows, particularly in the north, and the rest is mostly alpine shrubs, with forests in the south.

7,500 km
The distance covered in around 60 days

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