Moyar Valley: A Sanctuary for Wildlife and Vulture Conservation

Moyar Valley: A Sanctuary for Wildlife and Vulture Conservation

The Moyar valley, also known as Maayar (invisible river) valley, is a significant wildlife habitat spanning approximately 85 km from Gudalur through the core area of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. This valley serves as a crucial biome within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, providing sanctuary to various species including tigers, elephants, and the critically endangered Gyps vulture.

Importance of Moyar Valley

  1. Wildlife Habitat: The valley harbors diverse wildlife populations, including endangered species like tigers and elephants.
  2. Critical for Vulture Conservation: Moyar Valley hosts the largest nesting colony of Gyps vultures in peninsular India, making it a vital breeding ground for these scavengers.

Factors Influencing Vulture Population

  1. Absence of NSAIDs: The scarcity of NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) in wildlife carcasses within the valley ensures a stable food source for vultures, as opposed to regions where these drugs are prevalent.
  2. Low Human Disturbance: The minimal human presence, particularly in terms of domesticated cattle, reduces the risk of vulture poisoning and contributes to a healthier vulture population.
  3. Comparative Studies: Symposiums and surveys have indicated a significant disparity in vulture populations between Moyar Valley and other regions in southern India.

Vulture Population Dynamics

  1. Synchronised Vulture Survey 2024: Recent surveys have shown an increase in the number of resident vultures within Moyar Valley.
  2. Resident vs. Migrant Vultures: The valley primarily hosts resident vulture species, with occasional sightings of migrant species.
  3. Nesting Patterns: Vulture nesting sites within the valley exhibit fluctuations over the years, indicating a need for consistent monitoring and conservation efforts.

Conservation Measures

  1. Habitat Preservation: Ensuring the preservation of natural habitats and food sources for vultures is crucial for their long-term survival.
  2. Invasive Species Control: Removal of invasive plant species like Prosopis and Lantana helps restore the original ecosystem and promotes vulture habitat.
  3. Monitoring and Surveys: Regular monitoring of nest sites and population surveys are essential for tracking vulture populations and implementing effective conservation strategies.

Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs):

  1. What is Moyar Valley primarily known for?
    • a) Agricultural production
    • b) Wildlife conservation
    • c) Industrial development
    • d) Urbanization
    • Answer: b) Wildlife conservation
  2. Why is the presence of NSAIDs minimal in wildlife carcasses within Moyar Valley?
    • a) Strict regulations imposed by the government
    • b) Limited human population in the area
    • c) Natural occurrence of non-toxic carcasses
    • d) Extensive use of alternative medications
    • Answer: b) Limited human population in the area
  3. Which vulture species is primarily resident in Moyar Valley?
    • a) Himalayan vulture
    • b) Cinereous vulture
    • c) White-rumped vulture
    • d) Egyptian vulture
    • Answer: c) White-rumped vulture
  4. What conservation measure aims to restore the original ecosystem in Moyar Valley?
    • a) Introduction of exotic plant species
    • b) Control of invasive species like Lantana
    • c) Expansion of human settlements
    • d) Reduction of protected areas
    • Answer: b) Control of invasive species like Lantana