June 18, 2013 5:29:34 am
The Great Indian Bustard,a critically endangered bird,will soon be tracked by satellite by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) to understand its breeding pattern and preffered habitat. The move is a push towards saving the species dwindling population,primarily in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
WII in Dehradun,a government-run institution,has been granted permission for satellite tracking of the Great Indian Bustard, Gujarat Principal Chief Wildlife Conservator of Forest C N Pandey said. The satellite tracking will help researchers understand the movement of this rare bird,largely found in the Kutch region of Gujarat,and parts of Rajasthan, Pandey added.
The coastal grasslands of Abdasa and Mandvi talukas of Kutch district in Gujarat support some of its population. The other sanctuary with the species includes Naliya in Kutch, a state forest department official said.
According to officials,due to hunting and loss of its habitat (dry grasslands),as few as 250 birds were estimated to survive in 2011.
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Amongst the largest flying birds in the world today,the bustard is distinguishable by its brownish body and wings marked with black,brown and grey. It is listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India,1972,and its international trade is prohibited.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Redlist recognised it as critically endangered in 2011. Concerned over rapid reduction in the population of Indian bustards,the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests prepared a recovery programme in 2012,for three species of the bustard Great Indian Bustard,Bengal Florican & Lesser Florican.
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