Great Indian Bustard
Environment and Ecology > Species extinction & protection > Species in news
Why in news?
- Great Indian Bustards in Rajasthan’s Desert National Park have adopted an altogether new habit of laying a clutch of two eggs at a time after having a diet with additional proteins during the monsoon season.
- Bustards usually lay only one egg in a breeding season that lasts from March to October.
About Great Indian Bustard:
- It is one of the heaviest flying birds (weighing up to 15kgs). They inhabit dry grasslands and scrublands on the Indian subcontinent.
- Conservation Status:
- IUCN Red List: It is a Critically Endangered species with less than 150 birds left in the wild.
- CITES: Appendix I
- Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972: Schedule I
- It is endemic to the Indian subcontinent. It is found in Rajasthan (Desert National park), Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh in India and parts of Pakistan.
- Great Indian bustards are tall birds with long legs and long necks; the tallest individuals may stand up to 1.2 metres high.
- Males and females are distinguished by the colour of their feathers.
- Food Habits:
- Great Indian bustards are omnivores. They prey on various arthropods, worms, small mammals, and small reptiles.
- Death by collision with infrastructure, particularly power lines and wind turbines
- Depletion of grasslands
- Development of mines and human habitation in and around their habitats among others.
- Project Great Indian Bustard:
- It was launched by Rajasthan Government with the objective of conservation of the remaining population of critically endangered Great Indian Bustard(Ardeotis nigriceps) locally called Godawan.
- Firefly bird diverters:
- These are flaps installed on power lines, a reason for many deaths among GIB. They work as reflectors for bird species like the GIB. Birds can spot them from a distance of about 50 meters and change their path of flight to avoid collision with power lines.
About Desert National Park:
- Desert National Park is a national park situated in the Indian state of Rajasthan. This is one of the largest national parks.
- The Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert. Sand dunes form around 44% of the Park.
- The Chinkara or Indian Gazelle (Gazella bennettii) is a common antelope of this region. The Great Indian Bustard is also found here in relatively fair numbers.
Consider the following statements regarding ‘Indian Bustard’:
1. They are classified as critically endangered in IUCN red list.
2. They are found only in Himalayas
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2