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Four vultures die in Jaisalmer after hitting windmill, wires

JAISALMER: Four vultures died in different incidents in Degrai pasture land in Jaisalmer district on Wednesday. While two Himalayan vultures died after hitting a windmill at Bheeksar, a Himalayan vulture and Egyptian vulture died after hitting high-tension electric wires at Sodhiasar.

Last Friday, too, two Egyptian vultures died after hitting high-tension electric wires at Rasla border. Since January, more than 36 migratory and rare birds have died.

Around 15 days ago, two cinereous vultures and a Tony eagle had died after hitting the wires. These incidents have created resentment among bird enthusiasts. Earlier there was a demand to remove the wires in the pasture land and in Great Indian Bustard (GIB) habitat areas or to put up bird diverters. Around four months ago, a GIB had died after hitting the wires.

Degrai Ushth Sanrakshan president Sumer Singh Bhati said he and his colleague Parth Jagani were on a routine visit to the pasture land and found two vultures – a Himalayan and an Egyptian – dead under a 132kv high tension pole. The forest department was informed about it. They said it is really worrying as a lot of migratory birds were dying after hitting the high-tension wires.

He said it was probably the first case in which two Himalayan vultures died after hitting a windmill. He said a lot of migratory birds are camping at Lathi, Bhadaria, Khetolai, Dholia and pasture lands in Jaisalmer which is a good news, but increasing incidents of birds hitting the wires poses a threat to them.

Deputy conservator of forest Kapil Chandrawal said recent orders of NGT about overhead power transmission lines of energy projects have brought respite to the bird enthusiasts. The said order pertains to fitting bird diverters on ‘existing solar and wind power lines’, especially in the Thar Desert area.

He said a bird diverter is a device installed along the overhead power transmission lines at regular intervals and is designed to help make the power lines more visible to birds and discourage contact with the lines. The device spins by aligning with the wind flow direction. It is painted in bright colours to make it conspicuous from far away in mid air.