Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the 3 state governments will soon start an artificial breeding programme of Great Indian Bustard (GIB).
Under this integrated collaborative effort, 3 states viz. Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra will take part to boost the population of GIB, one of the critically endangered flying bird species in the world.
The artificially breeding operations of GIBs will begin in 2016 across these 3 states and they will be later released from captivity to semi-captivity after some time of initial operations.
Artificial breeding programme of GIB
- 1st initiative of the programme: Seek to establish a captive stock of GIB which will lay eggs. It will be followed by hatching of the eggs and then they will become chicks.
- Later, the chicks will be reared to become adult and will be used to increase population in captivity, before they are being released in semi-captivity.
- Technical expertise: Regarding the breeding programme, will be provided by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), an autonomous institution of the MoEFCC.
- WII will provide expertise in planning, breeding, conserving, hatching of egg of GIB along with scientific information related to the ecology of the species, its functional dynamics, physiology and behavioural aspects.
- Respective participatory state governments will help in preparing favourable habitat like arid and semi-arid grasslands needed for GIB.
About Great Indian Bustard (GIB)
- Scientific name: Ardeotis Nigriceps.
- Appearance: It is 1 metre in height and weighs nearly 15 kilos. It has black crown on the forehead with contrasting pale neck and head.
- Found in: Once it was found in large number across the grasslands of India and Pakistan, but now it is restricted to small and isolated fragments in three Indian western states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
- Protection Status: Critically Endangered (CR) species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data Book. It is listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972.
- Threat: GIB has been exterminated from almost 90 per cent of their former range even though it has ability to survive in harsh weather conditions. The main reasons are Habitat loss and poaching.