From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Great Indian Bustard
Mains level : Wildlife conservation efforts
The recent shooting of two Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) in Pakistan’s Cholistan desert has left wildlife activists in Rajasthan shocked and outraged.
Great Indian Bustards
- The GIB is one of the heaviest flying birds and can weigh up to 15 kg which grows up to one metre in height.
- In July 2011, the bird was categorised as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- It is considered the flagship grassland species, representing the health of the grassland ecology.
- For a long, conservationists have been demanding to secure this population, warning that the bird might get extinct in the coming decades.
- It would become the first mega species to disappear from India after Cheetah in recent times.
- Till the 1980s, about 1,500-2,000 Great Indian Bustards were spread throughout the western half of India, spanning eleven states.
- However, with rampant hunting and declining grasslands, their population dwindled.
Why in news?
- The GIB, which is the state bird of Rajasthan, is considered India’s most critically endangered bird.
- It is one of the most critically threatened species in India, with less than 150 birds left in the wild.
Try this PYQ:
Q.Which one of the following groups of animals belongs to the category of endangered species?
(a) Great Indian Bustard, Musk Deer, Red Panda, Asiatic Wild Ass
(b) Kashmir Stag, Cheetah, Blue Bull, Great Indian Bustard.
(c) Snow Leopard, Swamp Deer, Rhesus Monkey, Saras (Crane)
(d) Lion Tailed Macaque, Blue Bull, Hanuman Langur, Cheetah