Catching of targeted 30 vulture chicks for the Vulture Conservation and Breeding Center (VCBC) has been successfully completed. All chicks are now safely placed inside the quarantine aviary at Biodiversity Conservation Center (BCC/NTNC), Sauraha and in good health. The VCBC, established jointly by BCN, National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) in April 2008, is now home for 44 critically endangered oriental white-rumped vulture Gyps bengalensis. The center aims to collect 25 pairs each of oriental white-rumped vulture and slender billed vulture Gyps tenurirostris and breed them in captivity. The VCBC intends to reintroduce the birds into the wild when the outside environment is deemed safe for vultures.
The 30 chicks were collected from Maitahwa and Buddi of Kapilvastu (8), Chisapani and Bardaghat of Nawalparasi (6), Pokhara Valley, Kaski (3), around Rampur Valley of Palpa/Syangja) (7), Bijouri of Dang (2), Beli of Kailali (3), Laljhadi of Kanchanpur (1).
A core team of Richard Cuthbert and Steve Lucocq from RSPB; Anand Chaudhary and Tulsi Subedi from BCN and Ram Tamang from NTNC-BCC collected the chicks with a wider support team from BCN, NTNC, DNPWC, Prithvi Narayan Campus-Pokhara, Parahawking/Maya Devi-Pokhara, Chisapani CFUG-Nawalparasi, Communities around Rampur Valley (Palpa/Syangja), Communities in N Kapilvastu district, Duttha Rana-Kanchanpur, Earth-Dhangadhi and Beli CFUG-Dhangadhi, ESDRC-Dang and TAL-Dhangadhi.
The process involved several months of field monitoring, identification of nesting colonies and trees with suitable chicks by BCN's Vulture Conservation Program staff. After the appropriate nests were identified, a team of specialist tree surgeons from RSPB climbed the trees to collect chicks. These chicks were transported back to the center in safe boxes. A detailed health check up was carried out and weight taken of each chick before they were released into the quarantine aviary at BCC. After 45 days in the quarantine aviairy, they will be transported to the main aviaries at the VCBC.