Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Great Indian Bustard Recovery Plan


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Great Indian Bustard and its recovery


Why in the News?

  • The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) approved Rs 56 crore for the next phase of the conservation program for the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) and the Lesser Florican for the 2024-2029 period.

Note: Both the Bustard and Lesser Florican are critically endangered, with only 140 Bustards and less than 1,000 Lesser Floricans surviving.

Back2Basics:  Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA)

  • Established by the MoEFCC.
  • Legal Basis: Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016.
Objective Ensure effective utilization of funds for compensatory afforestation, catchment area treatment, wildlife management, and forest resource development.
Background Created due to the diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes; aimed at mitigating the loss of forest cover through compensatory afforestation.
Structure National CAMPA Advisory Council: Provides policy advice and ensures inter-ministerial coordination.

State CAMPAs: Manage funds and oversee implementation at the state level.

Fund Utilization Funds are used for afforestation, forest ecosystem regeneration, wildlife protection, forest infrastructure, and conservation activities.
Key Activities
  • Afforestation and reforestation
  • Wildlife management
  • Forest management
  • Soil and moisture conservation
Financial Management
  • Managed by CAMPA at national and state levels;
  • Funds are non-lapsable and specifically allocated for forestry and wildlife activities.
Monitoring and Reporting Includes regular audits and progress reports to ensure transparency and accountability in fund utilization and project implementation.
Legal Framework Governed by the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016

CAMPA Guidelines.

Impact and Significance Crucial for mitigating deforestation impacts, supporting ecological balance, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable forest management.

About Great Indian Bustards

  • GIBs are the largest among the four bustard species found in India, the other three being MacQueen’s bustard, the lesser florican, and the Bengal florican.
  • GIBs’ historic range included much of the Indian sub-continent but it has now shrunken to just 10 percent of it.
    • Among the heaviest birds with flight, GIBs prefer grasslands as their habitats.
  • GIBs are mainly found in Desert National Park, Rajasthan.
  • Bustards face major threats, including habitat changes and collisions with power lines.
  • Protection accorded:
    • Birdlife International: uplisted from Endangered to Critically Endangered (2011)
    • Protection under CITES: Appendix I
    • IUCN status: Critically Endangered
    • Protection under Wildlife (Protection) Act: Schedule I

What is the GIB Recovery Plan?

  • The proposal was prepared by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
  • The proposal includes:
    • Rewilding Bustards bred in ex-situ conservation centres,
    • Conducting detailed population studies, and
    • Developing artificial insemination techniques.

Back2Basics: Wildlife Institute of India (WII)

  • WII is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
  • It was established in 1982.
  • It is based in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
    • Functions: It offers training programs, academic courses, and advisory in wildlife research and management.

Why such a move?

  • Indicator Species: The GIB is a key indicator species of grassland habitat, signalling the health of these environments.
  • Population Decline: The population has declined from around 700 individuals to less than 150 due to habitat loss, predation, and death by overhead power lines.
  • Supreme Court Order: The Supreme Court recognized the threat from power lines and constituted an expert committee to assess the feasibility of overhead and underground electric lines in the bustard’s habitats.

Conservation Efforts and Achievements

  • Recovery Plan: Initial efforts began between 2012-2013 with a long-term recovery project, which firmed up in 2016 with a Rs 33.85 crore funding outlay.
  • Funding and Agreements: The project was funded by the Compensatory Afforestation Fund, with a tripartite agreement in 2018 involving the Environment Ministry, Rajasthan Forest Department, and WII.
  • In-Situ Breeding: Conservation breeding began in 2019, resulting in a founder population of 40 GIBs at the Ramdevra centre.

Achievements at Breeding Centres

  • Successful Breeding: Eggs collected from the wild were incubated and chicks were hand-reared. The breeding centres now have a founder population of 40 GIBs.
  • Scientific Reasoning: Creating a founder population prevents extirpation and captures genetic variability. The goal is to have at least 20 adult birds including 15 females.

Future Plans

  • Next Phase (2024-2033): The immediate next phase will run until 2029, targeting the upgradation of the CBC at Ramdevra and the development of the Lesser Florican CBC at Sorsan.
  • Population Surveys: Surveys will be conducted in Rajasthan and other range states to monitor population status.
  • Release into the Wild: The most important target is releasing captive-bred GIBs into the wild, preceded by soft release in enclosures.


[2020] With reference to India’s Desert National Park, which of the following statements are correct?
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 the 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

[2019] Consider the following statements:

  1. As per law, the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority exists at both National and State levels.
  2. People’s participation is mandatory in the compensatory afforestation programmes carried out under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

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