News: Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC) along with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has come up with a unique initiative — a “firefly bird diverter” for overhead power lines in areas where Great Indian Bustard (GIB) populations are found in the wild.
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.
- 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
Habitat: 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 a long neck; the tallest individuals may stand up to 1.2 metres (4 feet) high.
- The sexes are roughly the same size, with the largest individuals weighing 15 kg (33 pounds).
- 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.