- The Rajasthan government will set up India’s first captive breeding centre for the great Indian bustard in an attempt to boost the wild population of the country’s most critically endangered bird, which is the State bird of Rajasthan.
- Its last remnant wild population of about 90 in Rajasthan accounts for 95% of the total world population.
- A state-of-the-art egg hatching centre will be raised in the Desert National Park.
- After the chicks are raised, they would be transported to the desert for reintroduction in the wild.
- Captive breeding had succeeded with houbara in UAE and great bustard in Spain.
About Great Indian Bustard:
HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION
- 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 and Gujarat. Small population occur in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
- Bustards generally favour flat open landscapes with minimal visual obstruction and disturbance, therefore adapt well in grasslands.
- In the non-breeding season they frequent wide agro-grass scrub landscapes.
- While in the breeding season (summers and monsoons) they congregate in traditional undisturbed grassland patches characterized by a mosaic of scantily grazed tall grass (below 50 cm).
- They avoid grasses taller than themselves and dense scrub like thickets.
- Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972, in the CMS Convention and in Appendix I of CITES, as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016). It has also been identified as one of the species for the recovery programme under the Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.