Great Indian Bustard (GIB)

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    In Context

    • Important steps taken by the Government for protection of Great Indian Bustards in the country including details of captive breeding facilities have been highlighted recently  .

    Great Indian Bustard (GIB)

    • About:
      • One of the heaviest flying birds endemic to the Indian subcontinent.
      • State Bird of Rajasthan
    • Habitat: 
      • Untamed, Arid grasslands.
      • A Maximum number of GIBs were found in Jaisalmer and the Indian Army-controlled field firing range near Pokhran, Rajasthan.
      • Other areas: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
    • Population:
      • As per the studies conducted by Wildlife Institute of India, there are around 150 Great Indian Bustards left across the country which includes about 128 birds in Rajasthan and less than 10 birds each in the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
    • Protection Status:
      • IUCN Status: Critically Endangered.
      • Listed in Wildlife Protection Act’s Schedule 1.
    • Threats to the Bird:
      • Hunting, Intensification of agriculture, Power lines.

    Indian Initiatives for Protection of GIB

    • ‘Habitat Improvement and Conservation Breeding of Great Indian Bustard-an integrated approach’:
      • The Ministry with financial support from National Authority for Compensatory Afforestation Funds has sanctioned an outlay of Rs. 33.85 crores for the duration of five years for the programme titled ‘Habitat Improvement and Conservation Breeding of Great Indian Bustard-an integrated approach’. 
      • The objective :
        • to build up the captive population of Great Indian Bustard and to release the chicks in the wild for increasing the population and also to promote in-situ conservation of the species.
    • Task Force:
      • The Ministry has also constituted a Task Force for suggesting Eco- friendly measures to mitigate impacts of power transmission lines and other power transmission infrastructures on wildlife including the Great Indian Bustard.
    • The Great Indian Bustard has been included in the Appendix I of Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) on the basis of a proposal submitted by India. 
      • It was also the mascot of the prestigious 13th CMS Conference of Parties held in Gandhinagar giving wider publicity for the conservation of the species.
    • Important habitats of Great Indian Bustards are designated as National Parks/Sanctuaries for their better protection.
    • The species has been identified for conservation efforts under the component ‘Species Recovery Programme’ of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS)-Development of Wildlife Habitat. 
    • Directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT): NGT ordered a time-bound action plan for the implementation of mitigation measures such as installation of bird diverters and their regular maintenance and monitoring by power agencies.
    • A Bustard conservation breeding centre in Rajasthan has been set up in Jaisalmer.
    • Conservation Reserves: Great Indian Bustard habitats to be declared as conservation reserves.
    • Project Great Indian Bustard launched by the Rajasthan government

    Source:PIB