ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATION

Topics: Bustard, Otididae, Endangered species Pages: 10 (1910 words) Published: May 14, 2014
SPECIAL ISSUE 2012

NEWSLETTER

2

Editorial Board:
Dr. Dipankar Ghose
Mita Nangia Goswami
Moulika Arabhi
Dr. Parikshit Gautam
Editor:

Published By:
WWF-India

IND

WWF-India, 172-B, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi 110003

COVER IMAGE: © ASHOK CHAUDHRY

Fionna Braganza

Protecting
Bustards in India
Special Issue

FROM THE SG & CEO’S DESK
Dear friends,
The articles in this publication aim to bring attention to the alarming status of four species of bustards found in India - the Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indica), Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis) and the Houbara (Chlamydotis undulata). The situation is critical for all, the first three of which are resident with the Houbara being a migratory species.

I have always marveled at the sight of these incredible birds, which are becoming increasingly difficult to spot. I was fortunate to sight an adult Lesser Florican on the Lucknow airport just after landing. This chance encounter highlights the plight of this species

CONTENTS

and the pressures on its habitat as a result of land conversion, one of the many causes for the decline in its numbers.

Introduction

02

THE GREAT INDIAN BUSTARD

06

Bustards, a Conservation Dateline

15

While bringing out this publication, we also reflect that it is unfortunate how many such meetings on endangered species have been

The Great Indian Bustard in Bellary District, Karnataka

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conducted in the last 30 years with little or no action on the recommendations. It is especially telling in the case of the Great Indian

Community and Landscape Level Approach to Conservation

23

THE LESSER FLORICAN

28

I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us in bringing out this special issue by contributing articles, and also

Recommendations for Species Recovery

33

through their keen participation in the consultative workshop.

The Sinking Pulse of the Grasslands

37

THE BENGAL FLORICAN

42

An Enigma for Science

47

THE HOUBARA BUSTARD

52

Wintering in the Little and Great Rann of Kutch

53

REFERENCES

58

In light of the alarming situation facing bustards and on the advice of the Task Force constituted for the conservation of the Bustard species in India, a 'Consultative Workshop to Develop Guidelines for Species Recovery Programmes for Three Species of Bustards and Floricans in India' was organized from November 1-2, 2011 by WWF- India in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment & Forests and the Bombay Natural History Society. As an outcome of this workshop, guidelines for recovery programmes for all three resident species were prepared and have been submitted to the Ministry of Environment & Forests for action.

Bustard - the state bird of Rajasthan - which was at a time being considered for the national bird symbol before the Indian peafowl was selected.

I would like to dedicate this issue to the late Dr. Ravi Sankaran, an eminent field biologist, champion of the Bengal Florican and an inspiration to many. Through this publication, we would like to urge immediate action, reiterating our commitment to the cause. We hope to bring out such editions on other species in the future. Ravi Singh

FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Dear readers,
I remember reading about the Great Indian Bustard in a grade-school textbook, and never after. Since then, the Great Indian Bustard has persevered in my mind (and possibly, in yours too) as the exemplar of endangered species on the verge of extinction. And so, to most people, this is what the Bustard has remained – a textbook example of a species tottering on the brink of extinction.

It is now time to draw the Bustard out of the textbook, and into context. In the Introduction to this special issue, Dr. Asad R. Rahmani asks a precarious question - “Can we prevent the extinction of Indian Bustards?” Heading the checklist of solutions he provides, is...

References: species in India, a 'Consultative Workshop to Develop Guidelines for Species Recovery Programmes for Three Species of Bustards
and Floricans in India ' was organized from November 1-2, 2011 by WWF- India in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment &
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