Prelims Level
Mains Level

Why in News?

  • The GIB’s last remnant wild population of about 50 in Jaisalmer district accounts for 95% of its total world population.
  • No progress has been made on the proposal for establishing a captive breeding centre at Sorsan in Kota district and a hatchery in Jaisalmer for conservation of the State bird of Rajasthan.

Great Indian Bustard:

  • The Great Indian Bustard, one of the heaviest flying birds, can weigh up to 15 kg and grow up to one metre in height.
  • It is considered the flagship grassland species, representing the health of the grassland ecology.
  • For long, conservationists have been demanding to secure this population, warning that the bird might get extinct in the coming decades.
  • It would become the first mega species to disappear from India after Cheetah in recent times.
  • Till 1980s, about 1,500-2,000 Great Indian Bustards were spread throughout the western half of India, spanning eleven states.
  • However, with rampant hunting and declining grasslands, their population dwindled.
  • In July 2011, the bird was categorised as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Protection Measures:

  • Birdlife International uplisted this species from Endangered to Critically Endangered (2011). Protection under CITES Appendix I. Protection under Schedule I Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act 2002. Project Great Indian Bustard (Rajasthan): aims at identifying and fencing off bustard breeding grounds in existing protected areas as well as provide secure breeding enclosures in areas outside protected areas.

 

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