Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
mains Test Series 2018
India Signs MoU on Conservation of Birds of Prey
Mar 16, 2016

The Government of India has signed ‘Raptor MoU’—a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on conservation of birds of prey in Africa and Eurasia.

  • The ‘Raptor MoU’ extends its coverage to 76 species of birds of prey, out of which 46 species, including vultures, falcons, eagles, owls, hawks, kites, harriers, etc. also occur in India

  • The MoU has been signed on March 7 at the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) office in Abu Dhabi.

  • India has become the 56th signatory State to sign the ‘Raptor MoU’ that was concluded on October 22, 2008 and came into effect on November 1, 2008.

  • The ‘Raptor MoU’ is an agreement under Article IV paragraph 4 of the Conservation of Migratory Species and is not legally binding.
  • 'Raptor MoU’ is an MoU on Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia, with the Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species, or Bonn Convention, under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

  • The CMS aims to conserve migratory species throughout their range. India had become a party to the CMS since November 1, 1983.

10 Major Species of Flying Predators in India

The Flying Predators who hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. They locate their prey by combination of sound and movement. Bird of Prey has a wide meaning that includes many birds that hunt and feed on animals and also birds that eat very small insects. Flying Predator’s includes kites, buzzards, falcon, harriers, eagles and owl are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds.

1. Hawks: The small size flying predator is a widespread resident of the Indian forests and found in dry area as well. The hawks occupy every type of habitat in India from grasslands and fields to forests and wetlands. These are mainly woodland birds with long tails and high visual acuity, hunting by sudden dashes from a concealed perch. The hawks feeds on small mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.

2. Buzzard: The white-eyed buzzard, a medium to large bird of prey found all across India. This slim and small sized hawk is easily identified by its white iris to the eye and the white throat and dark stripe. They feed mainly on locusts, grasshoppers, crickets and other large insects as well as mice, snakes, lizards and frogs. They may also take crabs and fish from wetlands and can take larger prey like rabbit, the Indian hare.


3. Black Kites: The black kites or Indian kites are medium-sized bird of prey, distributed across India. The Indian black kites are opportunistic hunters, spend a lot of time soaring and gliding in thermals in search of food more likely to scavenge. The small Indian kite is a sub species of the big black kite and slightly different from red kites. The small size raptors are well adapted to living in Indian cities, they attracted to smoke and fires for escaping prey like birds, bats and rodents.

4. Laggar Falcon: The laggar falcon is a mid-sized bird of prey which occurs in the India and neighbor countries. The laggar falcon was a common species found mostly in the great Thar Desert of Rajasthan but due to use of pesticide in the region the numbers have declined. The famous and rare bird species found inhabiting Indian little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary and Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary. The dark brown falcon laggar falcon feeds mainly on Indian spiny-tailed lizard, rodents, big insects and small birds.


5. Indian Eagle: The Indian spotted eagle is a large bird of prey and belongs to the family of accipitridae. The biggest Indian flying predator is about 60 cm in length and has a wingspan of 150 cm, broad-headed with the widest mouth of all spotted eagles. The Indian spotted eagle habitat is distributed over the Gangetic Plains, in the east to Manipur, in Madhya Pradesh, southern Odisha and in South Mudumala, Nilgiris of Tamil Nadu and also found at some of bird santuaries. Due to habitat loss, deforestation and loss of prey the greater Indian spotted eagle falls in the category of vulnerable species in India.


6. Crested Serpent Eagle: The Indian serpent eagles, or snake eagles is a subspecies of eagle family and a specialist reptile eater, which mainly hunts lizards and snakes, mostly snakes including large poisonous snakes. The serpent eagle inhabiting dense Indian forests, scrubs, mangroves of sunderban and also found in forested habitats across tropical Asia. The crested serpent-eagle is a large, dark bird of prey with broad, rounded black and white wings common residents to Western Ghat’s and south Indian forest. The crested serpent eagle along with the changeable hawk eagle is one of the most common raptors found in the Indian wilderness.

7. Osprey: The Osprey known as the sea hawk or Indian fish eagle is a fish-eating bird of prey. The white-bellied sea eagle is a large diurnal bird of prey in the family of accipitridae and a resident from India. The white-bellied sea eagle hunts mainly aquatic animals, such as fish, turtles and sea snakes, but it takes birds, such as little penguins, coots and shear waters, and mammals as well. They have been reported traveling upriver to hunt for Indian flying foxes. Other two super species of Indian sea eagles are lesser fish eagle and pallas fish eagle, found mostly a Kaziranga National Parkt and north eastern parts of India.


8. Great Horned Owl: The India Great Horned Owl also known as Indian eagle-owl is a species of large horned owl found in hilly and rocky scrub forests of India. The Indian eagle-owl is a nocturnal predator, mostly feeds on Indian roller, rodents, birds, snakes and flying squirrels one of the best pry for rock horned owl. The great Indian horned owl is one of the most formidable aerial predators of the Indian forest. Due to it’s distinctive face, large forward-facing eyes, horns and deep resonant it is considered as a birds of ill omen like many other large owls.


9. Indian False Vampire Bat: The greater false vampire bat is one of the few carnivorous bats found mainly in India. The vampire bat is a night predator and some time a prey for eagles, hawks and great horned owl. The greater vampire bat hunt from dusk and eat small bats, small birds, lizards, frogs, fish, mice and rats as well as large insects. The big ears Indian false vampire bat habitat in humid forest, roosts in caves, abandoned mines and attics of houses. One of other species of vampire bat is the lesser false vampire bat, found only in Western Ghats of India.

10. Indian Vulture: The Indian vulture is an old world vulture closely related to the griffon vulture. The critically endangered Indian vulture is one of three species of endangered vultures found in India, other two are white-rumped vulture and slender-billed vulture. The Indian vulture inhabits cities, towns and villages near cultivated areas, as well as open and wooded areas. Indian king vulture is one of the most common large bird of prey in India, like other vulture it is a scavenger, feeding mostly from carcasses of dead animals. From the past few years, the Indian vulture are vanishing from the Indian skies and flying towards extinction.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.

http://www.drishtiias.com/upsc-current-affairs-article-India-Signs-MoU-on-Conservation-of-Birds-of-Prey