Great Indian Bustard may be extinct soon

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: GIB and its habitat

Mains level: Conservation of Great Indian Bustard


News

Only 50 Great Indian Bustards left in the wild

  1. The GIB’s last remnant wild population of about 50 in Jaisalmer district accounts for 95% of its total world population.
  2. No progress has been made on the proposal for establishing a captive breeding centre at Sorsan in Kota district and a hatchery in Jaisalmer for conservation of the State bird of Rajasthan.

Great Indian Bustard

  1. The Great Indian Bustard, one of the heaviest flying birds, can weigh up to 15 kg and grow up to one metre in height.
  2. It is considered the flagship grassland species, representing the health of the grassland ecology.
  3. For long, conservationists have been demanding to secure this population, warning that the bird might get extinct in the coming decades.
  4. It would become the first mega species to disappear from India after Cheetah in recent times.
  5. Till 1980s, about 1,500-2,000 Great Indian Bustards were spread throughout the western half of India, spanning eleven states.
  6. However, with rampant hunting and declining grasslands, their population dwindled.
  7. In July 2011, the bird was categorised as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Protection Measures:

  • Birdlife International uplisted this species from Endangered to Critically Endangered (2011)
  • Protection under CITES Appendix I
  • Protection under Schedule I Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act 2002
  • Project Great Indian Bustard (Rajasthan):  aims at identifying and fencing off bustard breeding grounds in existing protected areas as well as provide secure breeding enclosures in areas outside protected areas.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts
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