About Great Indian Bustard
- It is CRITICALLY ENDANGERED bird, only 150 of them are left in the wild in India.
- Only two districts in Rajasthan — Jaisalmer and Barmer — have a breeding GIB population in the wild. The bird can also be found in very small numbers in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
- It is endangered by hunting and loss of its habitat, which consists of large expanses of dry grassland and scrub.
- At present, the GIB populations in India are too small and fragmented.
- The only opportunity to potentially recover this species remains in the Thar landscape of Rajasthan, where the birds are now limited to two extant populations – one inside Desert (National Park) Sanctuary near Jaisalmer, and the second population located in the grasslands and agricultural lands of Pokhran and Ramdeora.
Firefly bird diverters
- Theya are the flaps installed on power lines.
- They work as reflectors for bird species and birds can spot them from a distance of about 50 meters and change their path of flight to avoid collision with power lines.
Why in the News?
- In a report by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) it was found that the high-tension power lines of Pokhran area of Rajasthan were the reason for 15% reduction in Great Indian Bustard population.
- GIBs are one of the heaviest flying birds in India. Therefore, when they encounter these wires, they are unable to change the direction of their flight.
- To tackle the issue, MoEFCC, along with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) jointly iniated a program where firefly bird diverters were installed along two stretches power lines of approximately 6.5 km.
- A total of 1,813 firefly bird diverters are being installed in this stretch — a model that has been endorsed by experts from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s (SSC) Bustard Specialist Group.
- The diverter will not only save GIB but other species of large birds, including migratory birds.
Wildlife Conservation Society
- WCS is a non-governmental Organisation working for saving wildlife and wild places worldwide. It is headquartered in New York.
- WCS India has been working since 1988, and is headquartered in Bengaluru.