In News: due to decline in population of Great Indian Bustard(only 130 remaining) the Centre has initiated a project worth ₹33.85 crore for their conservation and protection.
Efforts to conserve Great Indian Bustard:
- Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme-Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-IDWH), provides funds to states or Union Territories under the component ‘Species Recovery Programme’ for conservation and protection of 21 critically endangered species, including the great Indian bustard.
- ‘Habitat Improvement and Conservation Breeding of Great Indian Bustard-An Integrated Approach’, with a financial support of Rs 33.85 crore for five years from the ad hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for conservation, breeding of the Indian bustard with technical support from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
- The important objective of this programme is to build up a captive population of great Indian bustard and to release the chicks in the wild for increasing the population.
- Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra are the important range states involved in this programme.
- Two centres for breeding and hatching - one in Jaisalmer and the other in Kota, both in Rajasthan
- The biggest threat to this species is hunting, poaching, habitat erosion, 'greening' projects that transform arid grasslands to wooded areas, change of land use from grassland to farmland, fast moving vehicles and free-ranging dogs in villages.
- Noise pollution and power lines endangering the Indian bustard.
Great Indian Bustard:
- It is endemic to Indian Sub-continent, found in central India, western India and eastern Pakistan.
- Rajasthan has the highest population. It is thought to have completely disappeared from the states of Haryana, Punjab, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.
- Habitat: It includes arid and semi-arid grasslands, open country with thorn scrub, tall grass interspersed with cultivation. It avoids irrigated areas.
- Great Indian Bustard is Rajasthan's state bird.
- Conservation status:
IUCN: Critically endangered
WPA,1972: Schedule I