A few breeding populations of White-rumped Vultures (Gyps bengalensis) still survive in pocketsof their original vast range in India, having weathered a diclofenac-induced population decline of 99.9%since the early 1990s. These breeding populations are potential sources of recruits, now that the overallpopulation appears to be stabilizing or even recovering in some areas. We studied two White-rumpedVulture nesting colonies in the Raigad district of coastal Maharashtra in 2013–2014, to investigate site-specific nesting success and nest-site selection. Our overall aim was to better understand the capability ofthese remnant populations to contribute to the stability of vulture populations at a landscape scale. Wefound that vultures preferred to nest in taller trees. Nest failure was high before hatching but declinedthereafter. Overall nesting outcome was unrelated to the distance of the nest from areas of disturbance, butmay have been influenced by characteristics of nest trees. The percentage of successful nests was higher inthe smaller colony, suggesting that colony size may not be the only best criterion for targeting conservationefforts.
Journal of Raptor Research 52 (4): 431-442