The Great Indian Bustard (GIB) a majestic avian species is now seriously threatened with extinction with only 150 members left in the wild! Major causes of decline of the heaviest bird on the planet capable of flying is habitat destruction and habitat fragmentation, pollution, poisoning, poaching and predation, unfortunate clashes of the bird with increasing high tension power lines and wind turbines established indiscriminately in its already reducing habitat across the entire range of the distribution of GIB. Recently a program for radio collaring and tracking the species using telemetry has been launched in drastic attempt to save the species. Reports indicate that there have been some efforts in the captive breeding program; however, it is much below the need. Comprehensive captive breeding program across its range of distribution is an emerging need for the species with estimated wild populations. All the Indian states (Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh & Karnataka) with wild GIB habitats need to cooperate, coordinate and communicate for facilitating a Joint Conservation Initiative (JIB) with support from the Central government. We need to act fast with comprehensive conservation policy and strategies before it is too late for this majestic bird species to become extinct like the cheetah.
Saikat Kumar Basu,