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The Indian bustard: on its last legs?

Post by Admin Dec 17,2018

NOAA’s annual report says 2018 was the “second-warmest year on record” in the Arctic

Post by Admin Dec 14,2018

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Impact Based Forecasting Approach

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Faunal Diversity of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

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Climate crisis as greenhouse gas levels reach record highs

Post by Admin Nov 24,2018

The Indian bustard: on its last legs?

Post by Admin,Dec 17,2018.
News

  • The population of  Great Indian Bustard has significantly shrunk to less than 150 in five States (Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh). India is the only country that habitats the Great Indian Bustard.

  • Once the contender for becoming India’s national bird, the Great Indian Bustard is now facing extinction.

  • It is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, in Appendix I of CITES, as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016).

  • It has been identified as one of the species for the recovery programme under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

  • Historically, the great Indian bustard was distributed throughout Western India, spanning 11 states, as well as parts of Pakistan. Its stronghold was once the Thar desert in the north-west and the Deccan plateau of the peninsula.

  • Today, its population is confined mostly to Rajasthan (where it is the state bird) and Gujarat. Small population occur in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

  • The Desert National Park (Rajasthan) in Rajasthan is one of the most prominent habitats for the Great Indian Bustard.

  • The sewan grassland landscape is the bustard’s natural habitat. The bustard, known locally as godawan, flourished for years in these grasslands, but now most of that land is lost to agriculture and other human activities.

  • In 2013, the Rajasthan government launched Project Great Indian Bustard, with the aim of constructing breeding enclosures for the species and developing infrastructure to reduce human pressure on its habitats.

Threats

  • Hunting: The bird was a popular game bird and still is in some pockets.

  • Agriculture: Habitat of bustards are categorised as ‘wastelands’, like most grassland habitats in India. The push to make these areas more ‘productive’ has seen an increase in irrigation facilities in these parts, resulting in the spillover of agricultural land into bustard habitats. Intensification of agriculture, including more pesticides, barbed-wire fences and new crops are endangering the birds’ survival.

  • Development : Their habitat grassland are now sites for renewable power projects. New wind turbines and more power line affect the flight of Bustards as they have poor frontal vision and heavy bodies.

National Board for Wildlife

  • It is a statutory Board constituted under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

  • It is chaired by the Prime Minister.

  • It works as advisory body in framing policies and measures for conservation of wildlife in the country.