About the Great Indian Bustard:
#GS III #Environmental Conservation
Topic Environmental Conservation
- The top electricity regulator in India, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), has recommended that only power lines below 33 KV need to be buried and that the remaining ones be equipped with bird-diverters. This could benefit Rajasthan’s solar power projects, but it could also hamper efforts to make the region safe for the threatened Great Indian Bustard. The plan has drawn criticism from environmentalists who claim that it will result in the “extinction” of the species.
- The most seriously endangered bird in the nation is said to be the Great Indian Bustard (GIB), the state bird of Rajasthan.
- Because it exemplifies the health of the grassland environment, it is recognised as the flagship grassland species.
- There are only two places where it actually has a population: Gujarat and Rajasthan. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra have small populations.
- The bird is always in danger from things like power transmission wires clashing with it or electrocuting it, hunting, which is still common in Pakistan, habitat loss and change brought on by rapidly expanding agriculture, etc.
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix I Convention on Migratory Species (CMS): Appendix I Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972. Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.
- The Cholistan Desert, where the GIBs were killed, and Rajasthan’s Desert National Park (DNP), which has a grassland ecology very similar to both, are home to the last known wild population of GIBs.
- DNP is located near the towns of Jaisalmer and Barmer in the immense Thar Desert.
- It became a national park in 1981 to protect the Great Indian Bustard’s habitat.
- With Rajasthan’s international boundaries, the armed poachers in Pakistan’s Sindh and Punjab would have no trouble obtaining the birds.
- Along with substantially lowering the number of GIBs in India, the hunt for the endangered bird would have an impact on the desert’s ecosystem.
- It is maintained as a part of the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats species recovery programme run by the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
- A programme named “Habitat Improvement and Conservation Breeding of Great Indian Bustard-An Integrated Strategy” has also been established by the MoEFCC.
- The program’s goal is to increase the population of Great Indian Bustards by raising the birds in captivity and releasing the chicks into the wild.
- The “Project Great Indian Bustard” programme of the Rajasthani government aims to build infrastructure to lessen human impact on the species’ habitats as well as breeding cages for the species.