This ‘Wild Wednesday’ we focus our attention on saving a species that is currently down to the last remaining numbers. The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) population was commonly found and widespread across India and parts of Pakistan, today a mere 300 individuals survive and this species is nearing to the brink of extinction.
Facts of this Species
Commonly known as the emperor of the grasslands, the richness of their habitat are measured with the survival of this species. Recently being uplisted by IUCN Red lists to Critically Endangered, the highest level of threat – mainly for the Great Indian Bustard being massive hunting pressures and habitat loss. With irrigation canal built for the benefits of farmland and farmers, many fields which were home to this species have been transformed to agricultural farms and shrunk the Great Indian Bustard’s habitat which has made them disappear or move to new areas open to greater impacts of survival.
The Great Indian Bustard – Gujarat & their Kutch habitat
Kutch, a district situated in the western Indian state of Gujarat has been known for its second highest breeding population for this species, similar pressures of habitat loss due to unplanned industrialisation and agricultural encroachment over the past few years has resulted with a drastic decline in the population of this majestic bird. The population estimates reveal an estimated population of less than 30 birds in Kutch out of the total 300 birds and it could be the last call to save them.
The Kutch Ecological Research Centre, a division of The Corbett Foundation in Kutch, would like to draw our urgent attention to a serious matter concerning the conservation of critically endangered Great Indian Bustards (Ardeotis nigriceps) in Kutch.
All these 30-odd Indian Bustards survive in the Abdasa taluka of the Kutch district. India has declared 13 sanctuaries for the protection of this bird. One of these, the Kutch Bustard Sanctuary spread over a mere 2 sq km, is located near Lala village near Naliya in Abdasa taluka. However, a major breeding population of Indian Bustards thrives outside the protected area, in Abdasa taluka. The areas outside this notified Protected Area serve as the breeding, display and wintering areas of these birds. Apart from the reasons of habitat loss as mentioned above, constant threat from uncontrolled cattle grazing over its potential habitat is taking these birds closer to extinction. The Indian Bustard is included in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India.
It is extremely essential to remove the existing encroachment and stop further encroachment from the important areas for Indian Bustard. Industrial projects should not be sanctioned on the land used by the Indian Bustards. Quite a few areas used by the Indian Bustards falls in the category of revenue land. These areas should be protected for the future survival of these majestic birds in Kutch. They are ask Shri. Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Gujarat to immediately protect the Great Indian Bustard’s habitat and take action -
Join to support the Kutch Ecological Research Centre Campaign and Sign their Petition online to Save the Great Indian Bustard from extinction.
We thank Mr. Kedar Gore (Director at The Corbett Foundation & the Kutch Ecological Research Centre) for giving us all necessary information / photographs to highlight this campaign on our ‘Wild Wednesday’. We request all to join in and support their cause and the future of the Great Indian Bustard. This is our last Call.