Explained: What is Houbara Bustard?

News: Eleven members of the United Arab Emirates(UAE) royal family arrived in Pakistan to hunt the Houbara Bustard under a license issued by Pakistan’s foreign ministry.


Houbara Bustard

Source: Wikipedia

  • Houbara Bustard: It is a large terrestrial bird found in parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
  • Types: Houbara Bustard comes in two distinct types as recognized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, one residing in North Africa (Chlamydotis undulata) and the other in Asia (Chlamydotis macqueenii).
  • Characteristics:
    • The species lives in Arid Climate. It is omnivorous taking seeds, insects and other small creatures.
    • Asian Houbara bustards are known to migrate in thousands to the Indian subcontinent every winter. In fact, it is similar to the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard which is native to India.
    • After breeding during the spring season, the Asian Houbara bustards migrate south to spend the winter in Pakistan, the Arabian Peninsula and nearby Southwest Asia.
  • IUCN Status: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Reason for Decline: The main reasons for the decline in the species’ population are poaching, unregulated hunting and the degradation of its natural habitat.
  • Hunting in Pakistan: While Pakistanis are not allowed to hunt the bird, the government invites Arab royals to hunt it every year.

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