Important Facts for Prelims (15th September 2018) | 15 Sep 2018
Great Indian Bustard
- Once the contender for becoming India’s national bird, the Great Indian Bustard is now facing extinction.
- It is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, in Appendix I of CITES, as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016).
- It has been identified as one of the species for the recovery programme under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.
- Historically, the great Indian bustard was distributed throughout Western India, spanning 11 states, as well as parts of Pakistan. Its stronghold was once the Thar desert in the north-west and the Deccan plateau of the peninsula.
- Today, its population is confined mostly to Rajasthan (where it is the state bird) and Gujarat. Small population occur in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
- The Desert National Park (Rajasthan) in Rajasthan is one of the most prominent habitats for the Great Indian Bustard.
- The sewan grassland landscape is the bustard’s natural habitat. The bustard, known locally as godawan, flourished for years in these grasslands, but now most of that land is lost to agriculture and other human activities.
- In 2013, the Rajasthan government launched Project Great Indian Bustard, with the aim of constructing breeding enclosures for the species and developing infrastructure to reduce human pressure on its habitats.
- Recently, wildlife officials and experts submitted their recommendations to the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife to save bustard, from extinction.
National Board for Wildlife
- It is a statutory Board constituted under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
- It is chaired by the Prime Minister.
- It works as advisory body in framing policies and measures for conservation of wildlife in the country.