Conservation of Bustards with special reference to Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps: The State Bird of Rajasthan

Oct 25, 2020

This chapter describes status of the Critically Endangered “State bird”—the Great Indian Bustard (GIB)—and analyses problems regarding its conservation, measures and strategies to be adopted and need for further research. Bustards are the birds of grasslands. Out of the 10 genera of bustards, four are found in India, of which three are resident and one is a migratory species. Ecology, distribution and population of each species are discussed separately. The reasons for decline in the population of bustards are excessive biotic pressure, loss of breeding sites and fragmentation of their habitats which have been thoroughly discussed. Bustards in Rajasthan are almost on the brink of extinction, and the exact number of these birds is debatable. Government’s inability to check poaching and habitat destruction has further slowed down the pace of conservation efforts. However, according to the Forest Department, Government of Rajasthan, a marginal increase in the bustard population has been observed very recently. Local communities in and around bustard habitats are yet to be involved in “Project Bustard”, an effort for in situ conservation of GIB in the proposed Desert National Park at Jaisalmer. Likewise, conservation measures are required to be replicated in other GIB habitats, too.

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