Great Indian Bustard

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GS-3 Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Context: Noting the high mortality rate of the Great Indian Bustard, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Centre to prepare a time-bound action plan within two months for protection of the birds

About Great Indian bustard

It is the state bird of Rajasthan.


  • Black crown on the forehead contrasting with the pale neck and head
  • The body is brownish and the wings are marked with black, brown and grey.


  • Arid and semi-arid grasslands with scattered short scrub, bushes and low-intensity cultivation in flat or gently undulating terrain. It avoids irrigated areas
  • Found in India and the adjoining regions of Pakistan
  • In India, the bird was historically found in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Today the bustard is restricted to isolated pockets in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan

Protected areas

  • Desert National Park Sanctuary — Rajasthan
  • Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary – Andhra Pradesh
  • Karera Wildlife Sanctuary– Madhya Pradesh

Threat to the species:

The threat to this species include:

  • Occasional poaching outside Protected Areas,
  • Collisions with high tension electric wires, fast-moving vehicles and free-ranging dogs in villages.
  • Habitat loss due to widespread agricultural expansion, infrastructural development such as irrigation, roads, electric poles, as well as mining and industrialization.

Conservation status

  • Listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972
  • Listed in CMS Convention
  • Listed in Appendix I of CITES
  • Listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and the National Wildlife Action Plan (2002-2016).
  • 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.

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