GREAT INDIAN BUSTARD (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Environment)

News-CRUX-10     18th May 2024        
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Context: The Rajasthan government, in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), has proposed an innovative solution to aid the conservation efforts of the Great Indian Bustard. They plan to establish tunnel-like aviaries that replicate the natural landscape of the desert grasslands, the native habitat of these birds.

Great Indian Bustard

  • About: It is the State bird of Rajasthan and is considered India’s most critically endangered bird.
  • Flagship species: It is considered the flagship grassland species, representing the health of the grassland ecology.
  • Habitat: Its population is confined mostly to Rajasthan and Gujarat.Small populations occur in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Protection Status: IUCN: Critically Endangered, CITES: Appendix 1, Convention on Migratory Species (CMS): Appendix 1, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule 1
  • Concerns: As Rajasthan shares the international border with Pakistan's Sindh and Punjab provinces, the birds have become easy prey for the gun-toting poachers.

Initiatives taken to protect GIB

  • Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats: GIB is kept under the species recovery programme under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
  • Conservation Breeding Facility: MoEF&CC, Rajasthan government and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have established a conservation breeding facility in Desert National Park at Jaisalmer in June 2019.
  • Project Great Indian Bustard: It has been launched by the Rajasthan government with an aim of constructing breeding enclosures for the species and developing infrastructure to reduce human pressure on its habitats.