Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre
     A. Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre, Pinjore
      The Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre (JCBC) is a joint project of the Haryana Forest Department and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).It is a collaborative initiative to save the three species of vultures, the White-backed, Long-billed and Slender-billed, from looming extinction. The centre is located at village Jodhpur on the edge of the Bir Shikargaha Wildlife Sanctuary which is about 8 km off the National Highway-22 from Pinjore on Mallah Road. The centre is spread on a 5 acre land of Haryana Forest  Department.
 The JCBC, earlier known as Vulture Care Centre (VCC), was established in  September 2001 with the UK Government's 'Darwin Initiative for the Survival of  Species’ fund, to investigate the dramatic declines in the resident Gyps species of  vultures.

      Subsequent to the release of the South Asia Vulture Recovery Plan in February 2004, the VCC was adapted and upgraded to being the first JCBC, in line with a key recommendation of the Recovery Plan to set up a conservation breeding programme for the three critically endangered Gyps species of vultures.
At present the centre houses a total 160 Vultures which includes 63 White-backed Vultures, 74 Long-billed Vultures, 21 Slender-billed Vultures and 2 Himalayan Griffons. This is the largest collection of the three critically endangered Gyps species of vulture at one place anywhere in the world.

      A planned conservation breeding programme was initiated with the financial  assistance from the Central Zoo Authority, Darwin Initiative for the Survival of  Species of the Government of U.K., the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds  (RSPB) and technical support of the Zoological Society of London and  International Centre for Birds of Prey, U.K.

      The Centre is the first centre of its kind in Asia and is poised to make major contributions in the conservation of these critically endangered species. It was designated as the Coordinating Zoo for Vulture Conservation in India by the Central Zoo Authority.
The centre is an off display research facility and is not open to public

B. Highlights of the Year 2012-13
1. Inauguration of Interpretation Centre
      Mr. Ramendra Jakhu, IAS, Addl. Chief Secretary, Forests, Government of Haryana inaugurated the Jatayu Interpretation Centre at the Jatayu Conservation Breeding Centre, on the 17 May 2013 in the presence of Mr. C. R. Jotriwal, IFS, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Haryana, Dr.(Mrs.) Amarinder Kaur, IFS, Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Chief Wildlife Warden, Haryana, Mr. R. K. Sapra, IFS, Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and other senior officials of Haryana Forest Department. This Interpretation Centre will be utilised to impart training in conservation breeding to the forest and wildlife trainee officers from different parts of the country and also to the visiting biologists and scientists from India and abroad. The centre has projection facilities and also has the monitors of the CCTV cameras which are fixed in the aviaries. The CCTV is a very good tool to observe vultures in the aviaries without disturbing them and the functioning of the aviaries can also be explained without actually going inside. The Interpretation Centre overlooks two display aviaries and vultures housed in them can be clearly seen from the windows without disturbing them. So trainees need not go into the main breeding centre but can see the entire functioning of the centre sitting in the Interpretation room.

Inauguration of the Interpretation Centre by Mr.Ramendra Jakhu,IAS,Additional Chief Secretary

2.SAMBHAV- first vulture fledgling of the year 2012-13
 A White-backed vulture hatched by artificial incubation was  christened ‘Sambhav’ by Ramendra Jakhu, Addl. Chief Secretary,  Forests, Haryana on 17 May 2013. He then released it in the  display aviary. This was the first fledgling of this year which  hatched at the centre. Mr. Jakhu congratulated the centre for the  successful breeding of all the three species of vultures at the  centre and mastering the technique of artificial incubation.   Fledgling is the term for a young bird which has just started  flying.

3. Inauguration of New Colony Aviary
      Mr. C. R. Jotriwal, IFS, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Haryana inaugurated the Colony Aviary constructed by the Haryana Forest Department at the Vulture Conservation
Breeding Centre on the 26th October 2013. This huge aviary of 100x40x20’ will house a flock of 35-40 vultures. Mr. Jotriwal released a Long-billed Vulture in the aviary after formally inaugurating by unveiling the plaque. Subsequently, Dr. Amarinder Kaur, IFS, APCCF and Chief wildlife warden, Mr. R. K. Sapra, IFS APCCF and Mr. K.S Chavan, IFS, APCCF of Haryana forest department also released a vulture each in the aviary.
This colony aviary has solved the problem of shortage of space for the growing number of vultures bred in captivity at the centre. The aviary was constructed by the Haryana Forest Department from the grant received from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

4. Release of Red-headed Vulture with PTT (Platform Transmitter Terminal)
      Dr. (Mrs.) Amarinder Kaur, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, released a Red-headed Vulture with PTT on 22nd February 2013. This was for studying the ranging behavior of this critically endangered species. The centre has recently initiated this project and has so far put PTTs on four individuals. Satellite Telemetry will enable us to understand the movements and also the roosting and nesting sites of the vultures remotely. It is possible to determine individual range and territory. The satellite transmitter weighs about 70 gm and is attached to the bird using a backpack harness. This way the tag sits comfortably on the back of the vulture.

C. Objectives
      • To establish a founder population of 25 pairs each of 3 species of vultures
      • To produce a population of at least 200 birds, in 15 years of each species to be reintroduced in the wild.

D. Infrastructure
There are different aviaries to house vultures for various purposes and also buildings for housing laboratory and incubation facility.
a. Aviaries at the centre
i. The Quarantine aviaries (20x20x12’) are located 5 km south of the centre at Nandpur village on Forest Department land. There are three temporary aviaries with a capacity to hold 20 birds at a time. Any bird brought to the centre is first kept in these aviaries and their health is monitored for 45 days. Blood and fecal samples are analysed every fifteen days to make sure they are free of diseases.

ii. The Hospital aviaries (12x10x8') house any bird found injured or sick with in the centre, for treatment and care. The centre has three hospital aviaries with capacity to hold a bird each.

iii. The Colony aviaries (100x40x20') house adults of a single species after they have been quarantined for at least 45 days. These aviaries are large enough for the birds to do wing exercises by flying from one end to another and feed socially on carcasses, exactly as they do in the wild. There are four such aviaries with capacity to hold 40 birds each. The colony aviaries are equipped with CCTV cameras.

iv. The Nursery aviaries (12x10x8') are for housing nestlings hatched by artificial incubation. The nursery aviaries have nests made on nest ledges where four nestlings could be kept together. There are eight nursery aviaries with a total capacity of rearing at least 32 nestlings at a time.
v. There are three Holding aviaries, one of dimensions (60x40x20') and two of dimensions (20x20x20') with capacity to hold 10 pairs in the big aviary and 2 pairs each in the smaller ones. The birds are kept in these aviaries after they fledge in nursery aviaries. These aviaries are large enough for the birds to do wing exercise and flap fly from one end to another.

vi. The centre has two Display aviaries (25x17x14'). These aviaries are close to the interpretation room and are for teaching purposes for trainees visiting the centre. Vultures could be easily seen in these aviaries from the interpretation room.

vii. The centre has eight Breeding aviaries (12x10x10’) to house an individual established pair. It has been observed that some pairs are not comfortable nesting in a colony aviary. These pairs could be of younger birds which would be breeding for the first time or are sub-dominant pairs for some reason. Such pairs get disturbed by other birds while attempting nesting in colony aviaries. These pairs were shifted to the eight breeding aviaries which are constructed to house individual pairs to breed.
b. Laboratory and Veterinary Care Facilities

i. The Instrumentation room (15x10x10') has a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) machine with accessories. The equipment is utilized for sexing birds by using DNA. There is a fully automated blood biochemistry machine which helps in determining the levels of uric acid, albumin, total protein and creatine kinase in blood serum of vultures. The presence of diclofenac in the vulture tissue as well as cattle carcass tissue is detected with the help of ELISA reader also present in the lab.

ii. The Haematology Room (12x12x10') has all facilities for carrying out routine hematology on vulture blood. The lab has all equipment necessary for carrying out haematology like microscope, centrifuge machine, a haemocue, a blood mixer and other relevant instruments and accessories to carry out haematology.

iii. The Closed-Circuit Television Camera Monitor Room (10x10x10') is utilized for carrying out observations on the birds. All four colony aviaries are equipped with CCTV cameras to study vulture behaviour. The camera pans 360º and tilts up to 180º. It has a zoom of 30X. Every corner of the colony aviary can be monitored with the help of these cameras.

iv. The Freezer Room (12x10x10') has three -20ºC freezers for storing important tissue samples of vultures.

v. Interpretation Centre (24x18’) Was constructed in April 2013with funds from Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India under the endangered species recovery programme. It is utilized to impart training in conservation breeding to the trainees from various forest and wildlife schools and also the visiting biologists and scientists from India and abroad. It is equipped with projection facilities and also has the monitors of the CCTV cameras fixed in the aviaries. All published material on the centre as well as information booklets, posters and pamphlets are available in the centre.

Page Last Updated On:  02/5/2014