How do we know that the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) is now critically endangered and at threat of imminent extinction?
In 1969, over 1,000 Great Indian Bustards roamed the country’s grasslands. Today, this beautiful bird has vanished from 90 per cent of its geographical range, and has a global population of fewer than 150 individuals.
Where do we find the GIB?
The majority of the surviving birds live in the fragmented grasslands of Rajasthan and Gujarat, along with a few individuals in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Though many of the threats to the Great Indian Bustard, such as habitat loss, poaching are being addressed there is major threat: the overhead power transmission lines that crisscross GIB habitat are killing these low-flying, ground-dwelling birds. According to a study by the Wildlife Institute of India, 10 GIBs have lost their lives in power line collisions in the last decade (2007-2017).
What measures are being taken to protect the Indian bustard, one of the heaviest birds listed under critically endangered species?
Are there any breeding and hatching centres today?
Currently, there are two centres for breeding and hatching -- one in Jaisalmer and the other in Kota, both in Rajasthan.
What did the National Green Tribunal direct the Centre to do in September 2019?
NGT told the centre to prepare a time-bound action plan within two months for protection of the birds. India is the only home of the Great Indian Bustard. Protecting this bird is a matter of national pride.