Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Species in news: Great Indian Bustards


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Great Indian Bustard

Mains level : NA


The recent sighting of three Great Indian Bustards (GIBs) deep in Pakistan’s Cholistan desert has given rise to speculation that the endangered birds might have flown across the international border from India.

Great Indian Bustards

  • GIBs are the largest among the four bustard species found in India, the other three being MacQueen’s bustard, 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 considered the flagship bird species of grassland.

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


  • Overhead power transmission: This has resulted in the electrocution of the bustards.
  • Poor vision: Due to their poor frontal vision, can’t detect powerlines in time and their weight makes in-flight quick maneuvers difficult.
  • Windmills: Coincidentally, Kutch and Thar desert are the places that have witnessed the creation of huge renewable energy infrastructure.
  • Noise pollution: Noise affects the mating and courtship practices of the GIB.
  • Changes in the landscape: by way of farmers cultivating their land, which otherwise used to remain fallow due to frequent droughts in Kutch.
  • Cultivation changes: Cultivation of cotton and wheat instead of pulses and fodder are also cited as reasons for falling GIB numbers.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Consider the following pairs:

Protected Area: Well-known for

  1. Bhitarkanika, Odisha — Salt Water Crocodile
  2. Desert National Park, Rajasthan — Great Indian Bustard
  3. Eravikulam, Kerala — Hoolock Gibbon

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched? (CSP 2014)

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2

(c) 2 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3


Post your answers here.
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