EFFECT OF STRESS ON HAEMATOLOGICAL PARAMETERS OF A JUVENILE OF CRITICALLY ENDANGERED LONG-BILLED VULTURE GYPS INDICUS IN ORCHHA, MADHYA PRADESH, INDIA
Vertebrates have evolved specific physiological and behavioural responses to cope with sudden and unpredictable events, such as the attack of predators, psychosocial stressors, or unpredictable weather events. Blood is considered to be sensitive indicator of stress as well as other avian diseases. But since Gyps species of vultures are included in Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act 1972, no attempt was made to collect the blood samples by capturing the vultures. During the study period (2007-2011) only one sick juvenile was found. Blood smears were made in presence of the veterinary doctor and Forest Department. The blood sample was collected in EDTA and blood smears were prepared on the field. There were no significant differences in all hematologic values of the juvenile when compared to the results of established baselines. The PVC and WBC however varied slightly. PVC was 46% that is suggestive of dehydration. WBC was higher (25.3x109 cells/L ), indicating stress. The ratio of heterophil (1.61) to lymphocytes (4.95) was 0.33, showing optimal degree of stress. The eosinophils of the juvenile were found to be 0.47 109/L. The value of basophils was 0.3 indicating no serious signs of illness. The lymphocyte was 4.95. The value of monocytes in the juvenile was 1.2, thus no chronic diseases. The RBC was normal (1.36), showing the bird was not anemic. Vultures are high soaring birds, and it is possible that the lower oxygen levels of high altitudes combined with the activity of flight may have contributed to the increased RBC and Hb as a compensatory mechanism in the adult bird. The fact that the vultures are free-ranging and lives in Bundelkhand Region means that they are frequently exposed to the adverse effects of heat stress prevailing in the region, particularly during the hot season when the ambient temperature is very high. Keyword:- Water Productivity, Command area, Discharge.