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The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field

"Notes from the Field" provides frequent updates and pictures from our biologists and students who are working in the field or at our headquarters, the World Center for Birds of Prey.

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Student Notes: Shahid Mahmood

Shahid Mahmood — in Asian Vulture Crisis

Vulture researchers Shahid Mahmood (left)<br />and Muhammad Arshad (right) working at<br />Toawala.
Vulture researchers Shahid Mahmood (left)
and Muhammad Arshad (right) working at
Toawala.
"I took charge of studies at Toawala colony in February 2001. It is a larger site than all other study colonies. In the 2000/01 breeding season I counted a maximum of 1607 birds but in 2001/02 my maximum count was 1253. The main vegetation in this area are mango orchards. Cotton and wheat are the main crops. On the west side of Toawala colony (about 5 km) runs the river Chenab. At Toawala site food availability is high and last year, vulture mortality rate was lower than the other sites. But this year mortality rate has increased. Gout in birds is also more common this year. So still there are great numbers of vultures here to study the cause of mortality.

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