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Is the Great Indian Bustard on the Verge of Local Extinction?

  • Prelims: Env (Species Conservation), Great Indian Bustard
  • Mains: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

Why in News ?

  • Wildlife authorities have not spotted it for the last couple of years at the Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary in Nandyal district.
  • Scientists at the conservation breeding centre at Pokhran in Rajasthan achieved a major milestone when captive-reared birds bred first time naturally in 2023

Key Facts 💡

  • Conservation status : IUCN – Critically Endangered
  • CITES Appendix 1
  • WLP Act 1972 Schedule 1

 About the News or main Topic

    • It is one of the heaviest flying birds (weighing up to 15kgs). They inhabit dry grasslands and scrublands on the Indian subcontinent.
    • Habitat: Iendemic to the Indian subcontinent. It is found in Rajasthan (Desert National park), Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh in India and parts of Pakistan.
    • Food Habits: omnivores. They prey on various arthropods, worms, small mammals, and small reptiles.
    • Threats: Death by collision with infrastructure, particularly power lines and wind turbines, Depletion of grasslands hunting, development of mines and human habitation in and around their habitats among others.
      • Only 140 left globally
Great Indian Bustard
  • Conservation Initiatives : 
    • Project Great Indian Bustard : It was launched by Rajasthan Government with the objective of conservation of the remaining population of critically endangered Great Indian Bustard locally called Godawan.
    • Firefly bird diverters : These are flaps installed on power lines, a reason for many death among GIB. They work as reflectors for bird species like the GIB. Birds can spot them from a distance of about 50 meters and change their path of flight to avoid collision with power lines.
    • MoEF&CC, Rajasthan government and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have also established a conservation breeding facility in Desert National Park at Jaisalmer in June 2019.
    • Species Recovery Programme: It is kept under the species recovery programme under the Integrated evelopment of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

Source: TH

PYQ/ FAQ related to Topic: (Not more than 2-3 question)

Q. With reference to India’s Desert National Park, which of the following statements are correct? (2020)

1. It is spread over two districts.
2. There is no human habitation inside the Park.
3. It is one of the natural habitats of Great Indian Bustard.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: C. 1 and 3 only

Explaination : 

  • National Park but many villagers lived inside Desert National park, and they did not have access to even basic facility like road, electricity and water. 2017: Supreme Court ordered the government to provide such facilities to them. 
  • Desert national park is spread in two districts of Rajasthan Jaisalmer & Barmer. 
  • It is Natural home to the Great Indian Bustard. 

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