The Story of the Great Indian Bustard
The Story of the Great Indian Bustard

The Story of the Great Indian Bustard

The Great Indian Bustard

Gujarat is also a home of the magnificent bird "Great Indian Bustard” (Ardeotis nigriceps), locally known as ‘Ghorad’, a ‘Critically Endangered’ bird species, included in Schedule-1 under Wildlife Protection act-1972. This bird species is on the verge of extinction and its global population has declined drastically in last few decades.

Government of Gujarat had declared following two Sanctuaries for the conservation of this species.

  • ‘Gaga Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary’ located in the Dev-Bhoomi Dwarka district,having 3.33 sq. km area and
  • ‘Kachchh Bustard Sanctuary’ (KBS), covering an area of about 2, is located in the Abdasa taluka of the Kachchh district. KBS and its surrounding areas are the last refuge of the species in the state.

The Great Indian Bustard (GIB) has become extinct from 90% of its former ranges. Gujarat proudly possesses a population of about 48 birds as per the last census conducted in the year 2007. With this Gujarat stands second in having highest numbers of the GIBs in the world. Being the umbrella species of birds of grassland, its presence indicates the healthy atmosphere of the grassland and pastureland; both are equally important for the livestock and human-society.

About a meter tall bird can be easily distinguished in the grassland through its white neck. The female GIB is slightly smaller in size with broad supercilium and broken band on the chest while the males are larger, taller and possess a complete black band on the chest. They mainly feed upon the Beetles, Grasshoppers, other insects, grains, small reptiles etc. In one sense they are ‘Friends of Farmer’.

For the recovery of the species and to save it from extinction a guideline was released by the MoEFCC, on the basis of which Gujarat Forest Department has prepared a GIB Recovery Plan for the Kachchh District.This plan includes following activities

The Great Indian Bustard

  • Installation of fencing to develop huge and contiguous enclosure is being implemented.
  • ABC (Animal Birth Control) program was conducted to control the rapidly increasing feral dog population.
  • Watchtowers are being installed.
  • Important areas are being protected.
  • New habitats are either being developed or restored.
  • In addition to this, various community based programmes and social welfare activities are also being undertaken by the department along with the various awareness programs and nature education camps.

The KBS is open for the tourist from 1st November to 31st March every year. It remains closed from 1st April to 31st October for the tourists.

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