Up from Rs 2 crore sanctioned last year, the Union forest ministry has allotted Rs 33.85 crore for a five-year conservation and breeding programme of the great Indian bustard in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Bustard, the state bird of Rajasthan, is among the 39 endangered species in the state, according to a state biodiversity board report.
A 2015 state forest department survey said only 13 bustards are left in Rajasthan. Union environment and forest minister Prakash Javadekar said in Rajya Sabha on Monday less than 300 such birds remain in the country across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
“This decline is due to change in land use patterns of grasslands where the species thrive. The species has been identified for recovery under the Centre-sponsored scheme ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats,” said Javadekar.
A recent report of Wildlife Institute of India said: “The species is mainly present in Desert National Park across Barmer and Jaisalmer but the forest department has control over only 4% of the national park, thus posing hurdles in conservation”.
The report said the bird is also facing threat from high-tension wires and wind turbines in the area.