SPECIAL ISSUE 2012
Dr. Dipankar Ghose
Mita Nangia Goswami
Dr. Parikshit Gautam
WWF-India, 172-B, Lodhi Estate, New Delhi 110003
COVER IMAGE: © ASHOK CHAUDHRY
Bustards in India
FROM THE SG & CEO’S DESK
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
and the pressures on its habitat as a result of land conversion, one of the many causes for the decline in its numbers.
THE GREAT INDIAN BUSTARD
Bustards, a Conservation Dateline
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
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
THE LESSER FLORICAN
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
through their keen participation in the consultative workshop.
The Sinking Pulse of the Grasslands
THE BENGAL FLORICAN
An Enigma for Science
THE HOUBARA BUSTARD
Wintering in the Little and Great Rann of Kutch
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
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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