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  • 25 October, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Great Indian Bustards

Great Indian Bustards (GIB)

The recent sighting of Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) deep in Pakistan's Cholistan desert has fueled speculation that the endangered birds may have flown across the border from India's Desert National Park (DNP).

What Are the Most Important Facts About the Great Indian Bustard (GIB)?

  • The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), Rajasthan's state bird, is considered India's most critically endangered bird.
  • It is regarded as the flagship grassland species, representing the overall health of the grassland ecosystem.
  • Its population is mostly concentrated in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh have small populations.
  • Threats include collisions/electrocution with power transmission lines, hunting (which is still prevalent in Pakistan), habitat loss and alteration as a result of widespread agricultural expansion, and so on.
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List: Critically Endangered
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix1
  • Convention on Migratory Species (CMS): Appendix I
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
  • Rajasthan, having around 150 GIBs, accounts for 95 percent of the total global population.

GIB protection measures include:

Species Recovery Plan:

  • It is kept as part of the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change's Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats programme (MoEFCC).

National Bustard Recovery:

  • It is currently being implemented by linking local livelihood with bustard conservation. The core breeding areas are identified by the state government and kept inviolate from human disturbance, restricting land use diversion for roads, intensive

Conservation Breeding Center:

  • In June 2019, the MoEF&CC, Rajasthan government, and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) established a conservation breeding facility in Jaisalmer's Desert National Park.
  • The program's goal is to raise a captive population of Great Indian Bustards and then release the chicks into the wild to increase the population.

Project Great Indian Bustard:

  • The Rajasthan government has launched Project Great Indian Bustard with the goal of constructing breeding enclosures for the species and developing infrastructure to reduce human pressure on its habitats.

International Efforts

  • The International Fund for Houbara Conservation of United Arab Emirates is providing technical aid for this initiative.
  • In 2020, the GIB was included in the list of protected species of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals during its 13th conference held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  • Pakistan is a signatory of this convention.

What Are the Most Important Facts About Desert National Park?

  • It is located on India's western border, within the districts of Jaisalmer and Barmer in Rajasthan.
  • This park is home to Great Indian Bustards, Rajasthan's state animal (Chinkara), state tree (khejri), and state flower (Rohida).
  • In 1980, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in 1999, it was designated as a National Park.
  • and in 1999, it was designated as a National Park.

About Cholistan Desert

  • The Cholistan Desert is situated in the southern part of Pakistan’s Punjab.
  • It forms part of the Greater Thar Desert, which spans from Sindh province to the Indian state of Rajasthan.
  • It is one of the two major deserts in Punjab, with the other being the Thal desert.
  • The entire region is experiencing desertification because the poor vegetation cover is causing wind erosion.

Way Forward

Community support and NGO’s can work along with the government to protect and conserve the Great Indian Bustard.

Read Also: Red Panda and IUCN

Source: The Hindu

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