From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Great Indian Bustard
Mains level : Not Much
The critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB) has adopted an altogether new behaviour of giving clutch of two eggs at a time after getting additional protein diet during the monsoon season.
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.
- 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
- 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.
On the brink of extinction
- The GIB population in India had fallen to just 150.
- Pakistan is also believed to host a few GIBs and yet openly supports their hunting.
Supreme Court’s intervention
- The Supreme Court has ordered that all overhead power transmission lines in core and potential GIB habitats in Rajasthan and Gujarat should be undergrounded.
- The SC also formed a three-member committee to help power companies comply with the order.
- In 2015, the Central government launched the GIB species recovery program.
- Under the program, the WII and Rajasthan Forest departments have jointly set up conservation breeding centers where GIB eggs are harvested from the wild.
- They have been incubated artificially and hatchlings raised in a controlled environment.
Try this PYQ
Q.Consider the following pairs:
Protected Area: Well-known for
- Bhiterkanika, Odisha — Salt Water Crocodile
- Desert National Park, Rajasthan — Great Indian Bustard
- 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.