Since January 2007, Thailand’s Kasetsart University Raptor Rehabilitation Centre, in partnership with the Bird Conservation Society of Thailand and the Thai Raptor Group, has launched an “Adopt a Raptor” programme.
The scheme was started when a Cinereous Vulture (Aegypius monachus) was found exhausted in south-east Thailand in early January 2007 and handed over to Dr Chaiyan Kasorndorkbua of Kasetsart University.
Around the same time, four Himalayan Griffons (Gyps himalayensis) were caught in various locations in southern Thailand (top). They were likely members of a flock of five that were earlier seen at Doi Lang in mid-December 2006. All four eventually found their way to the Kasetsart University Raptor Rehabilitation Center.
Plans to release the Cinereous in South Korea was not possible due to a number of reasons. As such, it was released, together with the four Himalayan on 10th May 2007 along the Thailand-Myanmar border in Chiang Mai province (above).
The Centre continues to rescue injured or weakened raptors, especially vagrants that stray during migratory flights. Rescued birds are cared for until they regain their health and vigour. They are then tagged with a leg band, wing tag (left) or satellite telemetry prior to release to enable subsequent monitoring of their movements. Release will be done at the appropriate habitats and seasons to ensure maximum possible survival chances.
To participate in this “Adopt-a-Raptor” programme, contact Ms. Pajaree Intravooth, Assistant to the Executive Director, Bird Conservation Society of Thailand (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). A nominal sum to cover food, medical and other expenses is all that is expected.
A video clip showing the actual release can be seen HERE.
All images courtesy of Thai Raptor Group.