The Great Indian Bustard

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. 

Conservation Status:  

  • 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. 


  • Features:  
  • 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 
  • hunting 
  • development of mines and human habitation in and around their habitats among others. 

Conservation Initiatives: 

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.

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