Great Indian Bustard breeding plan in focus
Scientists working on the programme managed to incubate eggs and hatch nine GIB hatchlings last monsoon which, the scientists said, are developing well.Updated: Feb 11, 2020 08:48 IST
India is set to showcase the Great Indian Bustard conservation breeding programme at the 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) to be held in Gandhinagar next week, people familiar with the matter said.
Scientists working on the programme managed to incubate eggs and hatch nine GIB hatchlings last monsoon which, the scientists said, are developing well.
The Union ministry of environment, the Rajasthan government and the Wildlife Institute of India are working on the programme in coordination. For the project, a facility with an incubator for eggs, a hatchery and a chick rearing facility were set up at Sam in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
The project involves wildlife biologists tracking female birds that are nesting in the desert and carefully securing their eggs. The eggs are incubated until they are ready to hatch. The hatchlings are reared in a hatchery. The hatchlings also need exercise for which there is open space at the facility with a desert habitat.
According to YV Jhala, senior scientist from WII who is overseeing the programme, scientists will study the hatchlings to see if the number of GIBs can be improved.
Currently, there are only 150 GIBs left in the wild, which are mainly limited to Rajasthan. “This is only the first mile. We have a long way to go,” said Jhala.
The total budget outlay for the project is $60 million. The main breeding centre will be developed at Sorsan, Rajasthan.
“India will also propose to spearhead conservation activities related to the Central Asian Flyway. Birds from 30 countries migrate to India every year and their flyway is a very important project for us. This will be proposed on the sidelines of the COP,” said Soumitra Dasgupta, inspector general, wildlife.
Seven species have been identified from India for preparation of Conservation and Recovery Action Plan. Three Indian species— GIB, Asiatic Elephant and the Gangetic Dolphin — will be included in Appendix 1 of the Convention, Dasgupta said.
Appendix I of the Convention comprises migratory species that have been assessed as being in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range. Parties that are a range state to a migratory species listed in Appendix I shall endeavour to strictly protect them by prohibiting the taking of such species.