First SAVE tagging workshop held at Pinjore

BNHS team with tagging experts at Pinjore

With the growing emphasis and need for GSM and PTT tagging of vultures to understand survival rates as well as movements and the safety of areas for releases of captive vultures from the breeding programme, it is crucial to fit the tags as efficiently and safely as possible. An IUCN Vulture Specialist Group workshop held in 2019 resulted in a comprehensive guide in the journal Vulture News, and SAVE has since identified experts to deliver training using a recommended best-practice approach using the ‘Thoracic X-strap harness’.

This first training workshop of its kind in Asia has taken place this week, with tagging experts Vibhu Prakash, Duncan Orr-Ewing, David Anderson and Ishwari Chaudhry delivering training to BNHS staff from Haryana, West Bengal, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh teams.

The training is primarily practical using the captive subadult non-breeding birds and involves building tags and harnesses, working out the harness dimensions for three Asian vulture species, taking biometrics, and the use of tracking data.

BNHS staff attaching a tag to a captive bird

Further tagging training is planned for 2023 which will be open to SAVE partners and invited vulture tagging practitioners from the region. This initial training is a major step in preparation for 2023 when we hope that tagging programmes of wild vultures in India will get underway.

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